Skip to comments.Billionaire who didn't exist: Recluse, 80, who hid £1billion Nazi art haul from the world ...
Posted on 11/04/2013 4:48:51 PM PST by Uncle Chip
The reclusive pensioner behind the secret trove of paintings worth nearly £1billion, seized by the Nazis in the 1930s, and revealed this weekend, was a man of mystery in many aspects of his life.
Cornelius Gurlitt, 80, son of art dealer Hildebrand Gurlitt, did not have an official bank account, pension or insurance - he simply lived off the extensive collection, selling them when his money dipped.
The pensioner, who had never worked, was not even registered with the police - mandatory in Germany - and was not known to the tax authorities or social services.
The story which begins one evening in September 2010 aboard a German Intercity Express train from Zurich in Switzerland to Munich.
Customs officials were carrying out a routine check on passengers many wealthy Germans deposit money illegally in Switzerland to evade high tax rates at home and asked for the papers of a white-haired man.
He proffered an Austrian passport in the name of Rolf Nikolaus Cornelius Gurlitt, born December 28, 1933, in Hamburg and currently residing in Salzburg.
He appeared nervous, said customs officials.
He said he had travelled to Switzerland for business at the Galerie Kornfeld in Bern.
He then he pulled out an envelope with 9,000 euros in 500 euro notes inside 1,000 euros under the legal limit which must declared to officials when crossing borders in Europe.
Gurlitt was allowed to go on his way, but the officials remained suspicious.
Extensive checks soon disclosed that he did not live in Salzburg but in Schwabing, and he was not registered with the police.
He was a man who didnt exist, one official told Germanys Focus magazine, which broke the story.....
(Excerpt) Read more at dailymail.co.uk ...
What does “registered with the police” mean? For those of us who still aren’t sure about our local tyranny.
To think a German wouldn’t register with the Police!
No shock...the media hype over this is because of George Clooney’s movie about the same thing...
“Most of the paintings involved in this find will have been recorded in catalogues and sale records. Most original owners will be identifiable.
But there will be relatively few descendants around to come forward and plead their case.
And if all the heirs fail to materialise, Cornelius Gurlitt, in a bitter twist of fate, could be legally entitled to keep some these paintings - once denigrated as abominations by Hitler, but now declared almost beyond price.”
I remember a lot of German art in the Pentagon being shipped back to Germany. They could of at least run them thru the U.S. museum system first. Kinda like Whats-her-names shoes from the P.I.
>> “What does registered with the police mean? For those of us who still aren’t sure about our local tyranny.” <<
He had not taken the mark of the Beast.
Yes. They could have done so.
And I believe it was Imelda Marcos.
Hey, I think a couple of those belonged to my grandmother and I want them back.
He kind of “went Galt” in his own unique way.
Isn’t the purchase of these works art by old Gurlitt kind of like imminent domain?
imminent or eminent — I don’t understand your point
It’s fairly common outside the USA. It means you must report your current address to the police each time you move. When you visit somewhere for a certain number of days you have to give them your hotel or host’s info. Normally there is a harsh penalty for failing to do so. There is also a penalty for letting someone unregistered stay in your home.
What the H***....? Come again?!
Seems like a transfer of title to me. There could well be a recision claim by the original owners, who sold under duress, but there is usually a statute of limitations for such claims. Also, the law is applied as it existed at the time, or else it is an ex post facto law. That is all under US law of course. Who knows what German law provides. It does create some interesting issues, though, as to works that were legally purchased by a private German citizen from Jews who were fleeing Hitler and selling at rock bottom prices. As for art stolen by the Nazis from Jews who were being sent to the camps, those should be returned, no issues.
Actually we have the same thing here but NSA takes care of all the reporting requirements for us.
GERMANY? What IS it with those people? LOL, I just stared at this, and... looked at the year on the calendar, and... I don't know, I just went and got a beer and started laughing... not in a good way, you know? Not laughing in a good way at all.
I had actually flattered myself when I moved there that I was something of a cosmopolitan but in fact what I learned was just how very American I am in assumptions, attitudes, and convictions about the relationship between the individual and the state. Sometimes it takes living in an foreign country to pound that lesson home. Never forgot it, either.