Controversy Surrounds Art Hunter’s Quest for Nazi Seized Art

Baron Ferenc Hatvany, a member of Hungary’s richest families, was a noted art collector who, like many others, was forced to relinquish his collection to the Nazi’s during World War II.

Most of the collection remains missing, but an interesting story has emerged involving a Viennese art historian, Burkhart List, who is going to lead an expedition into an old silver mine in the Erzgebirge Mountains, near the Czech-German border, where he believes over 150 works from the collection have been stashed — which could be worth in the neighborhood of $800 million.

But according to ARTINFO, controversy has emerged because List is not acting for the Hatvany family or its foundation.  List claims he is not in it for the money, but skeptics claim he is acting with the son of a former lawyer for the Hatvanys, who believes he has a claim on any newly-discovered art.

It will be interesting to see how this tale plays out.  If you would like more information, please write to Mike Bono at mbono@wcmlaw.com.