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Two Researchers Nominated to Investigate Trove of Nazi-Looted Art

Two longtime provenance researchers have been nominated to join a task force created to investigate the history of more than 1,400 works of art stashed in a Munich apartment. The researchers, Sophie Lillie and Agnes Peresztegi, were recommended by the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany and will serve on a panel led by Dr. Ingeborg Berggreen-Merkel, Germany’s former deputy state minister for culture, who welcomed the nominations.

Ms. Peresztegi, who practices law in Budapest, is the executive director for Europe for the Commission for Art Recovery. Ms. Lillie is a scholar and author who has researched Nazi-era looted art and assets to assist with restitution claims. They will examine the trove of works in the possession of Cornelius Gurlitt, whose father was authorized by the Nazis to trade and sell art and to funnel the profits to the Third Reich. German officials seized the works in 2012, but the discovery was not made public until the German news magazine Focus published a report in November. Greg Schneider, the executive vice president of the Claims Conference, said that while the task force is important, the larger issue of restitution still needs to be addressed. He estimated there are about 20,000 artworks through Germany that were looted and not returned to their rightful owners. “We expect Germany to take the moral lead,” he said....

Read entire article at New York Times