- REUTERS/Kai Pfaffenbach
- The Weidler auction house in Nuremberg, Germany, tried to auction off five paintings allegedly made by Adolf Hitler on Saturday.
- They were put up for sale among other items believed to be owned by Hitler, including a vase and a wicker chair that featured a swastika symbol.
- The auction sparked anger among politics and locals, with the Nuremberg’s mayor saying it was held “in bad taste.”
- The auction also faced allegations of forgery after police seized 63 items featuring the signatures “AH” and “A Hitler” on Wednesday.
Five paintings believed to be created by Adolf Hitler failed to sell at a German auction amid public outrage and accusations of forgery over the weekend.
The watercolor paintings were put up for auction at the Weidler auction house in Nuremberg, Germany, on Saturday with the most expensive having starting price of $51,000, according to the BBC.
They were put up for sale among other items believed to be owned by Hitler, including a vase and a wicker chair that featured a swastika symbol.
The auction sparked anger among politics and locals, with Nuremberg Mayor Ulrich Maly telling the Sueddeutsche Zeitung newspaper that it was held “in bad taste,” according to CNN.
Additionally, the auction house had to remove 26 artworks from a brochure over concerns of authenticity.
“Unfortunately, we must inform you that some of the pictures have been dropped because of a review,” Weidler auction house said in a statement to German newspaper Spiegel.
On Wednesday, German police seized 63 items featuring the signatures “AH” and “A Hitler” amid forgery accusations, according to CNN.
The Nuremberg-Fuerth prosecution department has opened an investigation.
In Germany, public displays of Nazi symbols are illegal, though exceptions can be made in education and historical contexts.
To comply with the law, Weidler blurred out Nazi symbols in a brochure for the auction as well as online, according to the AFP News agency.
The sale of art that Hitler allegedly painted has been a regular source of outrage over the decades.
The sales spark controversy in the art world, as collectors reveal their willingness to pay high prices for art linked to Germany’s Nazi past.
“Every time there’s a media buzz about it … and the prices they’re bringing in have been rising constantly,” Stephan Klingen of the Central Institute for Art History in Munich told AFP. “Personally, that’s something that quite annoys me.”
The Weidler auction house has sold a number of paintings believed to be made by Hitler over the years, including one in 2014 that sold for $147,000, CNN reported.