Police: ‘Fake’ Hitler paintings seized before going under hammer

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Police: 'Fake' Hitler paintings seized before going under hammer
Police: 'Fake' Hitler paintings seized before going under hammer

Three paintings signed off as works by Adolf Hitler have been seized from an auction house in Berlin on suspicions of forgery, police say.

The trio of watercolours had been up for sale at the Kloss auction house in the German capital.

However authorities swooped in to take the pieces of art due to the possibility they were fake.

Berlin Police tweeted that the pieces had been recovered and an investigation into “fraud and forgery of documents” had begun.

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The pictures depict a mountain scene, a river and a distant figure sat beneath a tree.

Each had been listed with a starting price of €4,000, around £3,400, according to reports.

Prior to this latest development Heinz-Joachim Maeder, a spokesman for Kloss auctioneers, said: “They are watercolours by Adolf Hitler.

“In my view they have no artistic value – it’s simply adequate craftsmanship. The value of these objects and the media interest is because of the name at the bottom.”

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“If you walk down the Seine and see 100 artists, 80 will be better than this.”

Ahead of the outbreak of World War One, Hitler worked as a jobbing painter in Munich.

He churned out dozens of postcards and paintings for petty cash.

His dream of becoming an artist had been dashed when he twice failed to pass the entrance exam for the Vienna Academy of Fine Arts.

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There are many forgeries in circulation of his works known to be in circulation.

However, these three paintings had previously been authenticated by a US handwriting expert.

The family which owns the pictures has not been identified.

The Standard has contacted the auction house for comment.

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