Gurlitt’s hoard of 1500 artworks were discovered two years ago, and were bequeathed to the Bern museum in his will. The son of a Nazi-era art dealer, many of the works found in his Munich apartment are thought to have been looted from their owners or sold under duress. Research on the artworks and their provenances is still ongoing.
The project, initiated by the German culture minister Monika Grütters, will place the works in a “historically and scientifically contextualised framework”, and aims to “contribute to finding clues about the unknown provenance of works.”
Some believe the move is premature, however. The collection is currently in legal limbo while Gurlitt’s cousin Uta Werner waits to hear whether her challenge to his will, made on the grounds that he was not of sound mind, has been successful.
“We may not get a court decision until the autumn,” Werner’s lawyer Louis Rönsberg told The Art Newspaper. “It looks as though Minister Grütters is trying to pressure the court into making a quick decision in favour of the Kunstmuseum, and that could easily backfire.”