Sunday, 24 February 2019

‘Hitler paintings’ fail to sell at auction in Germany

BERLIN-Five pictures said to have been painted by Nazi leader Adolf Hitler have failed to sell at auction in Germany.

Weidler auction house had set a starting price for the watercolours of €45,000 (£40,000; $51,000).

The auction was held in Nuremburg, the German city once notorious for Hitler’s mass rallies where leading Nazis were later tried for war crimes.

Accusations of forgery marred the auction and city mayor Ulrich Maly described it as being in “bad taste”.

The sale also included items said to have been owned by the dictator, including a vase and a wicker chair with a swastika on its arm.

Under Hitler’s rule (1933-45), Nazi Germany began World War II, pursuing a genocidal policy that resulted in the deaths of some six million Jews, and tens of millions of other civilians and combatants.

Public displays of Nazi symbols are against the law in Germany – except in some contexts, such as for educational or historical reasons.

The auction house got around the law by pixelating the symbols within their catalogue. Dozens of artworks, including some set for sale, were seized from the auction house last week by German police.

Prosecutors said a total of 63 items bearing the signatures “AH” or “A Hitler” were confiscated over forgery concerns. An investigation was opened into unidentified individuals “on suspicion of falsifying documents and attempted fraud”, Nuremberg-Fuerth chief prosecutor Antje Gabriels-Gorsolke told AFP.

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