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81-year-old German recluse Cornelius Gurlitt launches website on 'Nazi art' trove
The website demonstrates the willingness of the 81-year-old and his lawyers for dialogue both with the public and possible claimants.

BERLIN (AFP).- The elderly German son of a Nazi-era art dealer has launched a website with information about an art trove discovered at his home, suspected to contain Nazi-looted works.

Cornelius Gurlitt's spokesman said in a statement that the Internet site demonstrated the willingness of the 81-year-old and his lawyers for dialogue both with the public and possible claimants.

The site, which is in English and German, includes a list of questions and answers setting out Gurlitt's position and apparently aimed at fending off claims about the origins of some of the collection.

"Cornelius Gurlitt considers it his duty to preserve and maintain his father's collection. And yet, Cornelius Gurlitt is open to historic responsibility," it reads.

Gurlitt was reluctantly thrust into the media limelight last November when news broke that around 1,400 works by the likes of Picasso, Cezanne and Degas had been discovered in his Munich flat in 2012.

Another 60-odd artworks, including pieces by Monet and Renoir, last week came to light at his Salzburg house.

Gurlitt is the son of Nazi-era art dealer Hildebrand Gurlitt, who acquired the paintings in the 1930s and 1940s and had been tasked by the Nazis with selling stolen works and art the Hitler regime deemed "degenerate".

In addition to raiding private collections, often of Jewish families, top Nazis pillaged German museums as well to sell their works or keep the valuable pieces for themselves.

© 1994-2014 Agence France-Presse

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