German art collector appeals seizure of works

BERLIN (AP) — Lawyers for the German art collector who kept more than 1,400 works in his Munich apartment have filed an appeal against the pieces' seizure two years ago, arguing that the decision was disproportionate.

Collector Cornelius Gurlitt's spokesman, Stephan Holzinger, said in a statement Wednesday the complaint was filed last week at a court in Augsburg, where prosecutors handling the case are based.

The works were seized by authorities investigating a tax case in 2012 but the case became public only last November. Gurlitt's lawyers question the pictures' relevance as evidence of alleged tax evasion.

Officials are checking whether 458 of the pieces were seized by the Nazis, but plan to return works belonging indisputably to Gurlitt.

The collector's representatives say they're in negotiations with six claimants seeking about 40 works.

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