In its decision of 23 March 2015, the Probate Court in Munich (Nachlassgericht München) granted the Museum of Fine Arts Bern’s application for a certificate of inheritance and, at the same time, rejected a similar application of Cornelius Gurlitt’s cousin, Ms Uta Werner. The Probate Court did not accept Ms Werner’s claim that Mr Gurlitt was lacking testamentary capacity when he appointed the Museum as his sole legal heir. On the contrary, the Probate Court explicitly confirmed the validity of the will.
The certificate of inheritance will only be issued to the Museum once the judgment is legally binding. Ms Werner has one month to decide whether she wants to appeal the judgment to the Appellate Court (Oberlandesgericht München).
In its press statement, the Kunstmuseum Bern emphasized that it is ready to take on the responsibility that comes with the acceptance of the will. “In particular, the Kunstmuseum Bern is committed to a thorough investigation of the art collection and to timely restitutions”.