The final six months of Cornelius Gurlitt's life were ones spent under a scrutiny that clashed with the reclusive years that preceded them. The German collector, who died this morning at age 81, was in November revealed to have a cache of art stashed amid expired cans of food in his squalid Munich apartment—a find that triggered an international uproar over the fate of art looted by the Nazis. Gurlitt's rep says the collector died at that Munich apartment, where he had returned after major heart surgery, the AP reports.
Germany last month announced that it had hammered out a deal with Gurlitt in which government-selected investigators would, over the course of a year, assess the sources of at least 593 of the works Gurlitt had quietly held. Other pieces among the roughly 1,280 discovered were deemed "unproblematic" and were to be returned to him. He was reported to be in frail health at the time. Click to read about how authorities discovered the art. (Read more Cornelius Gurlitt stories.)