Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Can Sweden Make Money on Hitler Art?

Biker Möller

The Local ran a story claiming that paintings seized by authorities for debt repayment from a Hell’s Angels biker in  Sweden were not original works painted by Hitler. This was a bit of backtracking from the first information released:
 "If the paintings are originals, we estimate that they will sell at 100,000 kronor (around $15,000) each," said Christer Davidsson, representing the Swedish Enforcement Authority.
In the Local report, district court official Jörgen Larsson stated that an unnamed expert whom he considers an authority determined that the works were copies. This was apparently the line of Sweden’s governmental debt agency Kronfogden after it came under fire for planning to auction Nazi artifacts.  In a follow-up article, Hell’s Angels former head Thomas Möller claims that the works are genuine:
-“Möller, indignant at the suggestion that his paintings are fake, is now claiming to have documentation proving that they are genuine.

”’I got the paintings straight from Otto Skorzeny, who got them from Adolf Hitler himself,’ Möller told Sydsvenskan newspaper.

“Skorzeny was a well-known Nazi and a colonel in the Waffen-SS and according to Möller, the true worth of the paintings is 4 million kronor [US$608,000], not 500,000 that the collection agency had initially hoped to make.”
A search through various press reports found that none of the press agencies in the top results even bothered to print the claim that the works were just fakes worth a fraction of the cost of originals.
In other European states, selling Nazi memorabilia is prohibited, but not in Sweden, where Nazi memorabilia are export goods. Looks like the government authorities decided to whitewash their greedy plans to make money on Hitler's paintings by claiming they were “just fakes”.  Also, note that the value of original paintings is much higher than the rates quoted by Davidsson in the Local.
Our take: Morally decrepit and deceitful behavior on the part of Kronfogen for trying to make money on Hitler art then denying it when hit by blowback, and shame on the Local for printing the coverup.
Our suggestion: Throw the paintings into the next car-b-que in and good riddance!
By Chanah Shapira

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