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In February 2012, in a Munich flat belonging to an elderly recluse, German customs authorities seized 1,280 paintings,
drawings and prints by artists including Picasso, Monet, Matisse, Chagall, Otto Dix and Paul Klee. When Cornelius
Gurlitt’s trove became public in November 2013, it caused a worldwide media sensation.
Catherine Hickley’s superbly illustrated account of the story behind the headlines: the street-corner battles of Kristallnacht in Breslau, Silesia; modern-day Madison Avenue in New York; the charred ruins of post-war Dresden; the prosperity of the Swiss capital Berne in 2014; the shady dealings of the Paris art world in the 1940s; and in modern-day Berlin, politicians and lawyers puzzling over the inadequacies of a legal framework, that to this day, falls short in securing justice for the heirs of those robbed by the Nazis.
‘A splendid account … a riveting read’ The Oldie
‘A comprehensive narrative’ The Economist
‘forensic attention to detail’ Art Quarterly
‘Hickley knows her subject inside out’ Jewish Quarterly
Catherine Hickley graduated in French and German from London University. As an English teacher in East Germany in 1989, she witnessed the fall of the Berlin Wall. In a sixteen-year career at Bloomberg News, she reported on arts and culture from Berlin for eight years, following stints as a reporter covering German politics, as Berlin bureau chief and as the editor managing European government news. Catherine is the world’s leading journalist in the field of Nazi-looted art and has published dozens of articles on the subject.