The Apocalypse has Started-Europe’s dirty little art secret

The outrage sparked by the clumsy handling of a Nazi-looted art trove in Munich, which was revealed this month, shows the urgent need for transparency in the art world, from museums to auction houses to private collections.

For years this rarefied world has functioned like a private club. Many institutions, especially in Europe, have kept their World War II-era provenance files discreetly locked away, or have even quietly accepted questionable art from moneyed donors. Dealers too have looked the other way — until a painting stolen during the Holocaust is suddenly, fortuitously spotted, and an auction block turns into a crime scene.

 

http://touch.latimes.com/#section/-1/article/p2p-78355525/

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