Cornelius Gurlitt’s long-secret hoard of 1,280 major artworks set off an international uproar last year over the fate of art looted by the Nazis.
Now his death has triggered a new round of speculation over who will eventually own his unparalleled collection.
A spokesman for the reclusive German collector, who died on Tuesday aged 81 at his apartment in Munich, said Gurlitt had living relatives but he would not say who they are.
It was also not immediately clear whether Gurlitt had written a will or whether a Munich court would appoint a curator of estate, which is often done in Germany if there are open questions surrounding an inheritance.
After much back and forth, Gurlitt eventually agreed last month to a deal with the German government under which hundreds of works he owned would be checked for possible Nazi-era pasts while staying in government hands.
A spokeswoman for the Bavarian justice ministry said that