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Art thought destroyed by Nazis found in Berlin

A cache of sculptures, thought to have been destroyed by the Nazis due to being classified as “degenerate”, have been found during construction near Berlin’s city hall.

The terra-cotta and bronze statues were found during a dig to lay down a new subway line. They belonged to a collection of 15,000 works condemned by Hitler’s regime for containing “deviant” sexual elements, anti-nationalistic themes or criticizing Nazi ideology.

The sculptures mainly depict women — a woman holding grapes, a mother and her child, a full-figured woman stretching — the other three are of males.

Ten of the pieces will go on display Tuesday in Berlin’s Neues Museum. One, a male terra-cotta head, is too fragile for display.

Construction workers found the art on the site of an office building that burned down in the summer of 1944, Museum Director Matthias Wemhoff told reporters Monday. The fire started in the roof, burning the building from the top down.

[Full story]

3 thoughts on “Art thought destroyed by Nazis found in Berlin

  1. I haven’t seen all the recently discovered sculptures, but I wonder what could be degenerate about those I have seen. They don’t seem to contain any deviant sexual elements, express any anti-German nationalism or criticise Nazi ideology.

    After the Nazi art authorities purged German museums of modern art now labelled degenerate, I wonder if these particular sculptures made it onto any formal catalogue of works removed because of their degeneracy.

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