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German collector in deal on handling of art hoard

Published on NewsOK Modified: April 7, 2014 at 9:59 am •  Published: April 7, 2014

BERLIN (AP) — A reclusive collector who hoarded hundreds of valuable artworks at his Munich home has agreed to cooperate with German authorities' efforts to determine which pieces were seized by the Nazis.

As part of the deal announced Monday, Cornelius Gurlitt will get back those works that are indisputably his.

Authorities found some 1,400 items at Gurlitt's home while investigating a tax case in 2012, though it only became public last November. Officials say at least 458 works may have been seized from their owners by the Nazis, and Gurlitt's representatives are in talks with several claimants seeking restitution. The works include Henri Matisse's "Femme assise," for which two claims have been made.

Officials have said for months they would like to reach an agreement with Gurlitt, who in February filed an appeal against the artworks' seizure.

The Bavarian Justice Ministry, the federal culture minister's office and Gurlitt's representatives said in a joint statement that works whose Nazi-era history officials are checking will remain in authorities' custody, and the task force set up by authorities to examine them will endeavor to conclude its research within a year. Gurlitt will get at least one representative on the task force.

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