The man behind a Nazi-looted art hoarding scandal has now launched his own website.
Cornelius Gurlitt made headlines late last year after news of his $1 billion-plus art trove became public in Berlin. Gurlitt, 81, has been sitting on the lucrative stash of works—many seized form Jewish victims of the Holocaust—which was first cultivated by his father. The works include pieces by famed artists like Matisse and Chagall.
A legal tug of war erupted, in which German authorities sought to catalogue the works and return them to heirs where possible. Gurlitt has refused to cooperate, demanding the 1,046 works be returned to him. As acquiescence, he says should officials return the pieces to him, he would “consider” claims made by descendants of the original owners.
Now, to further promote his plight, Gurlitt has launched a site chronicling the tale of the looted trove, with press releases, legal essays, a question and answer section, and personal statement.
“Cornelius Gurlitt considers it his duty to preserve and maintain his father’s collection,” the site reads.
“Cornelius Gurlitt was at all times convinced that he had inherited a collection from his father that predominantly consisted of so-called degenerate art from former German Reich property in public collections and museums. Cornelius Gurlitt was not aware that his collection also includes a few works that today can be qualified as looted art.”
German authorities are currently running a database of the looted art on the Lost Art Database, which lists seized works taken primarily from Jewish Holocaust victims.