The Wall Street Journal reports that a German task force investigating the provenance of works from the collection of Cornelius Gurlitt has said that a painting in the collection should be returned to its American owner, David Toren. Gurlitt inherited his collection from his father, an art dealer with Nazi ties. Toren, the heir to the collector David Friedmann (his great uncle), filed a suit against the Bavarian government demanding the painting’s restitution earlier this year, claiming that the work, Two Riders on the Beach by Max Liebermann, was stolen from Friedmann’s home by Nazis.
Gurlitt died in May. The task force was convened after his collection of some 1,400 works once believed to have been lost during World War II was discovered in his Munich apartment in 2012. Toren’s lawsuit will continue on.
“We’re pleased, but we don’t want to count this as a bird in the hand,” his lawyer told The Wall Street Journal.