In February 2012, in a Munich flat belonging to an elderly recluse, German customs authorities seized an astonishing hoard of more than 1,400 paintings, drawings, prints and sculptures. The author has delved into archives and conducted dozens of interviews to uncover the story behind the headlines.
Catherine Hickley reported on arts and culture from Berlin for Bloomberg News for eight years, becoming the leading journalist worldwide in the field of Nazi-looted art.
Her 16-year Bloomberg career also spanned stints as a reporter covering German politics, as Berlin bureau chief and as the editor managing European government news. She previously worked as a journalist in Switzerland and Hungary. A graduate in French and German from London University, she witnessed the fall of the Berlin Wall from the other side of the Iron Curtain as an English teacher in East Germany in 1989.
She had long been intending to write a book about Nazi-looted art when German authorities revealed they had seized an incredible hoard of works by artists including Henri Matisse, Pablo Picasso, Edgar Degas, Otto Dix and Albrecht Duerer in the Munich apartment of the reclusive Cornelius Gurlitt. This fascinating story, traversing continents and decades, is the subject of her book.