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Special Task Force officially classifies painting ‘Zwei Reiter am Strand’ (Max Liebermann, 1901) from Munich Art Trove as a looted work of art.

Press Release 18/08/14

In the official report submitted to the Munich probate court, the government task force set up to investigate the ‘Munich Art Trove’ has confirmed that the painting ‘Two Rriders on the Beach’ (Max Liebermann, 1901, Lost Art no.: 477892) was seized from its owners as a result of Nazi persecution. The Task Force reached its conclusion after extensive research in various archives at home and abroad.

The report states: ‘On the basis of both the information currently available and consulted sources we can affirm with great certainty that the painting ... was seized to the detriment of the surviving decendants of David Friedmann as a consequence of the Nazi persecution of Jewish citizens.’

In an official statement, Dr. Berggreen-Merkel, Head of the Task Force, said: ‘The investigation into this painting’s history is just another example of how complex provenance research is and the many elaborate forms it can take, especially in the face of competing claims. Our experts’ international network-building and the access to sources in Germany and abroad that this grants them have helped corroborate the suspicion that this particular work of art was Nazi-looted. In this case, the Task Force’s work is over. It is now up to the legal heirs to decide on the further course of action. In settling the dispute they will have to take into account the agreement sealed between Cornelius Gurlitt, the German government, and the State of Bavaria, before Mr. Gurlitt died.’

Dr. Matthias Henkel
Head of Communication – TASKFORCE Schwabinger Kunstfund
Karl-Liebknecht-Straße 31/33
10178 Berlin
Tel: + 49 30 18 665 7204

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