CMS Advises Museum of Fine Arts Bern on Gurlitt Estate

25/11/2014

The Museum of Fine Arts Bern has accepted Cornelius Gurlitt’s bequest, for which it entered into an agreement with the Federal Republic of Germany and the Free State of Bavaria. CMS in Austria, Germany and Switzerland provided extensive legal advice to the Museum of Fine Arts Bern.

Together with Bern-based attorney-at-law Marcel Bruelhart, CMS offered comprehensive legal advice to the Museum of Fine Arts Bern on all the complex issues connected to the agreement before the museum accepted the estate bequeathed by Cornelius Gurlitt. Assessing the risks posed by the acceptance of the bequest and overcoming various obstacles were essential during the six-month period until the deadline for accepting the bequest ended.

The art collection of Cornelius Gurlitt, who passed away in May 2014, consists of more than 1,500 art pieces. It had been confiscated in the course of an investigation into alleged tax evasion, which brought to light that the collection also comprised art looted by the Nazis. This became public last year, triggering a worldwide debate. The Museum of Fine Arts Bern foundation was named as the sole heir by Cornelius Gurlitt.

CMS Austria

Bernhard Hainz, protection of cultural assets

CMS Germany

Prof. Winfried Bullinger, lead partner Germany, art law/restitution/protection of cultural assets
Katharina Garbers-von Boehm, art law/restitution/protection of cultural assets
Wolf-Georg Freiherr von Rechenberg, tax law
Gerd Seeliger, tax law
Hans-Christian Blum, inheritance law

CMS Switzerland

Beat von Rechenberg, overall coordination

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CMS Advises Museum of Fine Arts Bern on Gurlitt Estate
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