The Nazi art found in a Munich, Germany apartment is apparently worth $1.3 billion.
As previously reported by The Inquisitr, forest swastikas are a Nazi mystery that has survived even chainsaws.
The Nazi art found in a Munich home of an 80-year-old-man named Cornelius Gurlitt comprised about 1,500 works of modernist art. The painters included such names as Picasso, Matisse, and Chagall.
But the Nazi art was stolen from Jews during the 1930′s and 1940′s according to German newspapers:
“The paintings were categorized as ‘degenerate art’ by the Nazis, who either confiscated them or stole them from Jewish art collectors. The customs raid to retrieve them was a clandestine operation and kept secret by the authorities.”
The stolen Nazi art wound up in the hands of German collector Hildebrand Gurlitt, whose son Cornelius inherited them when his father passed away. Nazi propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels apparently told Hildebrand Gurlitt to sell the paintings to raise capital for the Nazi state, but after World War II was over Gurlitt persuaded the Americans he had a Jewish grandmother and was persecuted himself as a Jew.
Police became suspicious of Cornelius Gurlitt in 2010 for tax evasion and decided to search his Munich apartment. The reason this becomes an issue is because death tax penalties means Mr. Gurlitt owes taxes on all of his father’s collection, which could potentially be millions of dollars regardless of how the Nazi art found its way into his family’s possession.
The Nazi art found in a hidden room was disguised with rotting food and other garbage. The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum estimates that the Nazis seized approximately 16,000 artworks from Jews. Out of the 1,500 pieces of Nazi art found in Munich about 200 of them had international warrants. It’s possible any surviving members of the Jewish families who were stolen from could petition the government to get their artwork back.