Henry Moore sketch found in Nazi trove

The Guardian Weekly - - Shortcuts - Getty Maev Kennedy

An au­then­tic wa­ter­colour sketch by Henry Moore, one of the most fa­mous Bri­tish artists of the 20th cen­tury, has been iden­ti­fied among the no­to­ri­ous Gurlitt hoard of more than 1,500 works, many of them Nazi loot in­her­ited by Ger­man art dealer Cor­nelius Gurlitt from his fa­ther.

The coloured sketch of re­clin­ing fig­ures, dat­ing from the 1920s, has been iden­ti­fied through the BBC pro­gramme Fake or For­tune? and is be­lieved to be the only UK work in the hoard of paint­ings and draw­ings dis­cov­ered in Ger­many in 2012.

Al­though many of the works of art in­clud­ing pieces by Claude Monet, Paul Cézanne, Pablo Pi­casso and Otto Dix have deeply tainted ori­gins, stolen by the Nazis or the re­sult of forced sales from Jewish col­lec­tors, the pro­gramme also es­tab­lished that the draw­ing, dat­ing from the 1920s, was given by Moore to a Ger­man mu­seum, and was bought be­fore the war by Gurlitt’s fa­ther.

The pro­gramme was asked to in­ves­ti­gate the au­then­tic­ity of the draw­ing by the Kun­st­mu­seum in Bern, the old­est fine art mu­seum in Switzer­land, which emerged as Gurlitt’s sole heir when he died of heart fail­ure in 2014. Works from the col­lec­tion are be­ing ex­hib­ited in Bern and at a mu­seum in Bonn.

Philip Mould, an art ex­pert and co-pre­sen­ter of the pro­gramme, said the draw­ing was a fas­ci­nat­ing early work by Moore. “Not only do we now know it is to­tally gen­uine, but it has been cleansed of the evil prospect that it was looted Nazi art, which will al­low Bern to once again dis­play it to the pub­lic.”

The CV-1, pro­duced by Kalash­nikov. Just don’t gun the en­gine

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