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Nazi-looted art trove discovered in Germany?

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Has an art historian located a buried trove of masterpieces looted by the Nazis? That’s what a report in Britain’s Daily Mail claims, stating that the collection contains pieces by Monet, Manet and Cezanne.

The newspaper reports that the trove is buried in an old silver mine near the Czech-German border, about 90 minutes’ drive from the city of Dresden. The art is believed to have belonged to Baron Ferenc Hatvany, a Hungarian-Jewish industrialist who was also a major art collector.

Adolf Eichmann, one of the highest-ranking Nazis and a major organizer of the Holocaust, is believed to have ordered the seizure of Ferenc’s art in Hungary late in World War II.

The Daily Mail reports that Burkhart List, a Viennese historian, has obtained documents indicating that there was a large shipment of art from Hungary to two underground galleries near Germany’s border with the country then known as Czechoslovakia.

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List is expected to lead an expedition of the subterranean location in May. A probe of the location using radar technology did not uncover the art.

The newspaper reports that the art collection, if recovered, would be worth an estimated £500 million ($798 million).

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-- David Ng


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