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Last updated: November 17. 2013 6:36AM - 705 Views
Associated Press



Photo provided by the Augsburg, southern Germany, prosecution Tuesday, Nov. 12, 2013 shows the painting by French artist Henry Matisse 'Sitzende Frau' ('Sitting Woman') that was among the more than 1400 art works that were seized by German authorities in an apartment in Munich in February 2012. Investigators, aided by a leading art historian, are trying to establish the artworks' legal status and history. It's unclear how many of the works might be subject to return to pre-World War II owners. (AP Photo/Staatsanwaltschaft Augsburg)
Photo provided by the Augsburg, southern Germany, prosecution Tuesday, Nov. 12, 2013 shows the painting by French artist Henry Matisse 'Sitzende Frau' ('Sitting Woman') that was among the more than 1400 art works that were seized by German authorities in an apartment in Munich in February 2012. Investigators, aided by a leading art historian, are trying to establish the artworks' legal status and history. It's unclear how many of the works might be subject to return to pre-World War II owners. (AP Photo/Staatsanwaltschaft Augsburg)
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(AP) A German man who kept a priceless trove of art, possibly including works stolen by the Nazis, hidden in his apartment for half a century says he did so because he "loved" the works.


Cornelius Gurlitt told German magazine Der Spiegel in an interview published Sunday that he wanted to protect his father's collection from "strangers."


The magazine quotes the 80-year-old as saying that his late father Hildebrand Gurlitt never bought art from private individuals, only museums or dealers.


German officials who seized the paintings last year say they suspect the elder Gurlitt may have acquired pictures taken from Jews by the Nazis.


Several heirs of Holocaust survivors have already come forward to claim some of the 1,406 works whose existence was revealed by German magazine Focus two weeks ago.


Associated Press
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