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Monet landscape found in suitcase art collector brought to hospital

German man Cornelius Gurlitt died and the suitcase was left at the hospital.

FILE: Gallery staff holding a different work by Claude Monet, La Seine a Argenteuil, 1875
FILE: Gallery staff holding a different work by Claude Monet, La Seine a Argenteuil, 1875
Image: Yui Mok

A LANDSCAPE BY Claude Monet has been found in a suitcase the late German collector Cornelius Gurlitt had with him during a hospital stay, the latest piece to emerge from his long-hidden art trove.

The suitcase was left at the hospital for unknown reasons, and was handed over earlier this week to the court-appointed administrator of Gurlitt’s estate, the task force investigating the pieces’ origin said.

Other works found in apartment

The latest find comes after officials in July reported finding a few more works at Gurlitt’s Munich apartment, including a sculpture apparently by Edgar Degas.

Like the Monet, they weren’t among 1,280 pieces authorities seized from the apartment in 2012 while investigating a tax case, a collection that included works by Pablo Picasso, Henri Matisse and Marc Chagall. It wasn’t immediately clear where the Monet was kept and why it wasn’t seized.

The task force said it will check whether the Monet was stolen by the Nazis, as it is doing with many other works in Gurlitt’s collection.

It said it appears after initial examination that the light-blue landscape, painted on paper, may have been produced around 1864. The subject appears very similar to the French artist’s “View of Sainte-Adresse.”

Gurlitt died at home in May after spending weeks in a hospital.

Tax evasion

News of the art trove’s seizure emerged only in November. Authorities had discovered the works while investigating Gurlitt for suspected import tax evasion. He inherited the collection from his father Hildebrand, an art dealer who traded in works confiscated by the Nazis.

Gurlitt designated Switzerland’s Kunstmuseum Bern as sole heir to his collection. The museum is considering whether to accept the bequest.

Shortly before he died, Gurlitt reached a deal with the German government to check whether hundreds of the works had been looted from Jewish owners by the Nazis.

Read: €10m Monet painting damaged in 2012 incident goes back on display this morning>

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Associated Press

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