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Renoir, Monet paintings among art found in Salzburg apartment

Feb. 14, 2014 at 7:54 AM   |   Comments

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SALZBURG, Austria, Feb. 14 (UPI) -- Works by Claude Monet and Pierre-Auguste Renoir were among the dozens of pieces of art possibly stolen by Nazis and found in an Austrian home, lawyers said.

Attorneys for art collector Cornelius Gurlitt said the art works seized at Gurlitt's Salzburg home this week were of greater significance than those found at his home in Munich two years ago, the BBC reported Friday.

Gurlitt, 81, is the son of the Nazi-approved art dealer Hildebrand Gurlitt, who died in 1956.

Last year it was revealed that hundreds of art works were kept in Gurlitt's home in Munich, many believed to have been stolen from their Jewish owners by the Nazis during World War II. Gurlitt has denied the pieces were looted but Jewish groups want more information about the works' provenance.

"They are very prominent works," Gurlitt's attorney, Hannes Hartung, said of the Salzburg pieces. "A wonderful Seine scene by [Camille] Pissarro, a wonderful bridge picture by Monet and a sailing boat seascape by [Edouard] Manet."

The BBC said a decision hasn't been made yet about publishing photos of the newly found works.

Jewish groups have called for a list of the works to be published to help identify any pieces either stolen or extorted from victims of Nazi persecution.

The Claims Conference, a Holocaust restitution organization, said Hildebrand Gurlitt was one of four art dealers commissioned by Adolf Hitler "to handle stolen art."

"Therefore the origins of his inheritance should be checked," the Claims Conference said in a statement.

More than 1,400 art works, estimated to be worth $1.35 billion, were found Gurlitt's home in Munich in March 2012, including works by Marc Chagall, Pablo Picasso, Henri Matisse and Otto Dix.

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