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Nazi-looted art worth $1.3B uncovered in squalid Munich home

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Picasso and Matisse and Chagall — oh my. A treasure trove worth of artwork seized by Nazis in Holocaust-era Germany and valued at $1.35 billion has been discovered inside the dilapidated Munich home of an 80-year-old recluse.

Apparently, the man had been hiding the works, selling select pieces only when he needed the money, the German magazine Focus reported. The recluse is named Cornelius Gurlitt, and his father, Hildebrand Gurlitt, was a famous museum collector who was half Jewish and forced out of his job by Hitler supporters, The Associated Press said.

The younger Mr. Gurlitt came under the watch of tax authorities a couple years ago, though, after he was found boarding a train with a massive amount of cash. An investigation led to the home discovery of the artwork, shoved behind cans of food and juice cartons, AP said.

Among the finds: A Matisse painting that once belonged to Paul Rosenberg, famed French art dealer who fled the country in 1940, AP reported. But the cache contains more than 300 pieces of artwork, including those declared "degenerate art" by Nazis, AP said.

At least 200 of the pieces have warrants attached to them, the BBC reported. And The Guardian in London said the German police may have kept quiet for two years about the artwork discovery because of the diplomatic issues it brings — namely, ownership and restitution.

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