Reclusive German art collector Gurlitt dies at 81

BERLIN (AP) — Cornelius Gurlitt, a reclusive German collector whose long-secret hoard of well over 1,000 artworks triggered an international uproar over the fate of art looted by the Nazis, has died. He was 81.

Gurlitt's spokesman, Stephan Holzinger, said that the collector died Tuesday morning at his apartment in Munich, where he had returned after major heart surgery.

Gurlitt was thrust into the public spotlight in November when authorities, following a report by German magazine Focus, disclosed that they had seized more than 1,400 items — among them 1,280 works by artists including Pablo Picasso, Henri Matisse and Marc Chagall — from the Munich apartment more than a year earlier.

They had discovered the works while investigating a tax case.

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