Most of us never come close to owning a Picasso, a Matisse, or a Chagall. One man came into possession of a museum's worth -- more than 1,200 works by those and innumerable other artists -- and kept it quiet for decades. His name was Cornelius Gurlitt. His father had been Hitler's chief art buyer in occupied Paris, so Gurlitt inherited a hoard of artworks that he jealously and secretly guarded until 2012 -- when they were finally seized by German customs authorities.
The paintings, drawings, lithographs and prints were "all found among jam jars, fruit-juice cartons, boxes of pasta and tins of food, some of which had a best-before date in the last century," writes Catherine Hickley in a new book: The Munich Art Hoard: Hitler's Dealer and His Secret Legacy. Well documented and absorbing, it reveals the ins and outs of a story that baffled the world when it broke in 2013 and has, as yet, never been fully told.