Art from Third Reich dealer's trove on show for 1st time

Many famous works of art are believed to have been looted by the Nazi regime from Jewish owners, and some of them were taken from museums between 1933 and 1945.

Kunst Museum Bern presents "Degenerate Art - Confiscated and Sold", an exhibition of drawings, lithographs, and paintings confiscated by the Nazis from museums and acquired by German art dealer Hildebrand Gurlitt. Authorities first stumbled on the art, stored in Gurlitt's Munich home, while investigating a tax case in 2012.

Paintings taken from the recently unearthed collection of a Nazi art dealer will go on display Thursday in Germany and Switzerland, in exhibitions created to shed light on the victims of Nazi art theft and on Hitler's persecution of "degenerate" artists.

The main focus of the exhibition in Bern will be on the more modern "degenerate" works reserved for overseas sale under Nazi censorship rules.

The art on display in Bern includes Expressionist works by artists such as Otto Dix and Franz Marc.

The Bonn show, subtitled "Nazi Art Theft and Its Consequences", aims to put the works into their historical context.

The works cover a broad time span, from Lucas Cranach via Carl Spitzweg and Edgar Degas to Max Beckmann.

That has been a slow and painstaking task.

A separate exhibition of works from the collection will open in Germany. So far, experts have identified six works as definitely having been looted by the Nazis - the latest of them last month, when researchers determined that the "Portrait of a Seated Young Woman" by Thomas Couture belonged to Georges Mandel.

The Bonn exhibition runs until March 11.

The Bern exhibition runs until March 4, 2018.

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