German art collector Cornelius Gurlitt, who famously hoarded thousands of Nazi-looted paintings in his Munich apartment, died today at the age of 81.
According to his spokesperson Stephan Holzinger, the collector died following major heart surgery. He had been receiving “around the clock care” at his home in recent weeks.
Mr Gurlitt hit the headlines last November, when it was revealed that he had kept more than 1,200 works by famous artists such as Picasso, Matisse and Chagall that he inherited from his father, an art dealer who was hired by the Nazis to collect “degenerate” artwork.
Last month, he signed an agreement with German authorities that allowed investigators to confiscate at least 593 pieces from his collection. It was agreed that all paintings not under suspicion would then be returned to him.
It is not yet known what will happen to Mr Gurlitt’s remaining art collection.