“Degenerate art” was largely modern or abstract works that Adolf Hitler’s regime believed to be a corrupt influence on the German people. Many such works were later sold to enrich the Nazis. An art expert working with prosecutors said those sales are legally valid, even if other works in the collection may eventually be found to belong to survivors of Nazi persecution or their heirs.
Art historian Meike Hoffmann, an expert on “degenerate art” at the Free University of Berlin, offered a glimpse of some of the works during a slide show at the same news conference.
She showed works she said had not been known to scholars, or known only from documents without any photos to give an idea what the works looked like.
“Such cases are of high importance to art historians,” she explained.