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German recluse reaches deal with German authorities over Nazi art trove

Published on Apr 8, 2014 6:06 PM

BERLIN (Reuters) - Germany reached an agreement with an elderly recluse on Monday on the future of a billion-dollar art trove confiscated by the authorities, part of which is suspected of being stolen or extorted by the Nazis.

The federal government and Bavaria state said Mr Cornelius Gurlitt, 81, has agreed to cooperate with the authorities to determine if some of the 1,280 artworks were stolen from their original owners, many of whom were Jewish, during the Nazi era.

Mr Gurlitt has agreed to waive the statute of limitations under which his lawyers claim he is the rightful owner of some of the artworks, which include masterpieces from artists such as Pablo Picasso, Henri Matisse, Otto Dix and Ernst Ludwig Kirchner.

"We're laying the groundwork for fair and just solutions," said German Culture Minister Monika Gruetters. "We're sending a clear signal to the outside world that we won't allow Nazi injustice to continue 70 years after the end of the war."

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