Art Law Report

Expert Opinion Casts Doubt on Gurlitt’s Testamentary Capacity to Make the Will that Names the Kunstmuseum Bern as Heir

Posted by Nicholas O'Donnell on November 17, 2014 at 11:42 AM

While we have tried to read the tea leaves and predict what the Kunstmuseum Bern will do on or before November 26 (the deadline to accept or reject the appointment as Cornelius Gurlitt’s heir)—and what others might do if the museum turns it down, less prominent has been the validity of the will in question itself. It is far from a forgone conclusion, however, that his last-minute will would hold up under scrutiny. The circumstances alone—an elderly person, under enormous international scrutiny, placed under a guardianship—beg the question.

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Topics: Schwabinger Kunstfund, Hildebrand Gurlitt, Cornelius Gurlitt, Nazi-looted art, Gurlitt Collection, Restitution, testamentary capacity, World War II, Kunstmuseum Bern, Münchner Kunstfund

Great-Nephew May Challenge Gurlitt Will and Appointment of Kunstmuseum Bern as Sole Heir, Second Will is Confirmed

Posted by Nicholas O'Donnell on May 13, 2014 at 6:18 AM

When news first broke that Cornelius Gurlitt had named the Kunstmuseum in Bern as his sole heir (and not merely as the recipient of his art collection), we wondered whether some putative heir to Gurlitt—and thus to at least part of the art collection under suspicion for containing Nazi-looted art—might challenge that appointment.

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Topics: Barcelona, Focus, Schwabinger Kunstfund, Hildebrand Gurlitt, Cornelius Gurlitt, Wolfgang Seybold, Nazi-looted art, Gurlitt Collection, Spain, Munich, Münchner Gerichtspräsident Gerhard Zierl, 60 Minutes, Restitution, ORF, codicil, testamentary capacity, World War II, Austria, Kunstmuseum Bern, Ekkeheart Gurlitt, probate, Nazi Raubkunst, CBS, Testament, Münchner Kunstfund, Morley Safer

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About the Blog


The Art Law Report provides timely updates and commentary on legal issues in the museum and visual arts communities. It is authored by Nicholas M. O'Donnell, partner in our Art & Museum Law Practice.

The material on this site is for general information only and is not legal advice. No liability is accepted for any loss or damage which may result from reliance on it. Always consult a qualified lawyer about a specific legal problem.

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