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Agency slammed for Hitler painting sales

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Agency slammed for Hitler painting sales
08:17 CET+01:00
Sweden's debt collection agency's (Kronofogden) plans to sell seven paintings by Adolf Hitler, a move which has drawn criticism from the Jewish association in Stockholm, has been scuppered after the works were deemed to be fakes.

The seven paintings were originally thought to have been painted by the Nazi dictator and were slated for sale to pay off debts, according to a report in the Aftonbladet daily.

The agency hoped that the sale would bring in several hundred thousands of kronor but after seeking expert advice, they are thought be worth a only a few hundred.

"We engaged a man who I consider to know what he is talking about and the answer we received was that the reproductions were worth a total of 500 kronor," said district court prosecutor Jörgen Larsson.

The Jewish association in Stockholm reacted angrily to the planned sale, but the authority has argued that it can't consider ethical factors in settling outstanding debts.

"It is symbolically unfortunate that people earn money on these items," said David Lazar at the association to Aftonbladet.

Adolf Hitler maintained that art was one of his major lifelong interests. He is believed to have sold thousands of paintings and postcards during his time living in Vienna.

There was a keen market for his work during the time of the Third Reich and there remain collectors keen to get hold of works by the former Nazi leader.

Hitler was known to describe himself as something of a frustrated artist and while alive often made grand claims pertaining to his artistic prowess.

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