A Swiss museum in Bern, Switzerland was shocked to learn this week that the son of a Nazi-era art dealer had left it a disputed hoard of priceless paintings – many have thought to have been plundered from Jews. Just one day after the death of Cornelius Gurlitt, at age 81, his lawyer told the Museum of Fine Arts in Bern that it was the sole heir of the German’s spectacular collection. The museum already boasts a valuable collection of modern masters including works by Picasso and Paul Klee, but if these works go on display there, this collection puts them on the art world map in a big way. As you may have read or seen on 60 Minutes recently, Gurlitt had hidden this remarkable trove of 1,280 artworks, seized in 2012, in his apartment in Munich for decades. They are worth many hundreds of millions of dollars, possibly a billion, including lost masterpieces by Picasso, Matisse and Chagall. The old nut never married and had no children, calling his art the love of his life. Just last month, Gurlitt had struck an accord with the German government to permit research to track down the rightful owners of pieces, including Jews whose property was stolen or extorted under the Third Reich. Independent experts estimate that around 450 of the works are so-called Nazi-looted art. More than 200 other paintings, sketches and sculptures were also discovered in February this year in a separate home of Gurlitt’s in Salzburg, Austria which include works by Monet, Manet, Cezanne and Gauguin. Gurlitt’s art dealer father, Hildebrand, acquired most of the paintings in the 1930s and 1940s, when he was tasked by the Nazis with selling works taken from Jewish families and avant-garde art seized from German museums that the Hitler regime deemed “degenerate.” This story is likely to continue for years but if it has many more twists, it rivals The Monuments Men, George Clooney’s film about looted Nazi art, now on iTunes, btw.