FILE UNDER: the craziest things that made us think of George Clooney this week. On Tuesday, German officials announced the discovery of an epic collection of Nazi-seized art in Munich. Including more than 1,400 pieces of art that were previously unknown — or considered lost or destroyed — the cache’s value is estimated at over $1B (or, according to some accounts, “a value so high it cannot be estimated”). It includes drawings, paintings, and sketches by Henri Matisse, Pablo Picasso and Otto Dix — artists Hitler considered “degenerate.”
The payday worth a lifetime of bratwurst was found in 2011, when customs police raided Munich resident Cornelius Gurlitt’s apartment after finding him on a train carrying a large sum of cash. 80-year-old Gurlitt turned out to be the son of dubious art collector Hildebrand Gurlitt, who was hired by the infamous Nazi propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels to raise money for the Third Reich by selling “degenerate” art. Cornelius himself hasn’t been seen in two years, and is described by his former neighbors as an odd recluse.
The major art find also happens to be one of the craziest things that might as well be taken straight out of the script of Monuments Men. The soon-to-be-released WWII-era film chronicles the true story of the group of men who raced against time to prevent as much art as they could from getting into Hitler’s hands and facing almost inevitable destruction. It also puts George Clooney, who directed and stars in the movie, in the news next to WWII art heists.
The newly-found collection represents the biggest art find post-WWII, and is an awesome reminder to be really nice to old people. They could be stashing a billion dollars worth of Hitler-art under their adjustable beds.
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