These Are The Incredible Pieces Of Art Stolen By Nazis During World War II

Considered one of the greatest villains of the last 100 years, the Nazi party didn’t do itself any favors by stealing some of the most prized possessions ever. Hitler started his life out as an artist before becoming the leader of Germany. As he attempted to take over the world, his love for art never died, and instead of paying for what he wanted, he took it. From 1933 until 1945, Hitler and the Nazi party stole some of the most precious artwork the world has ever seen. You won’t believe how much work Van Gough lost to Hitler!

This Bust Of Queen Nefertiti Is Priceless

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German archaeologist Ludwig Borchardt found this bust of Nefertiti during a dig in Egypt in 1912. Despite missing an eye and having her ear chipped, the bust is priceless. Instead of reporting his find, he stole it and brought it back to his homeland.

The statue was on display in Berlin in 1933 when Egypt offered other relics in exchange for their queen’s return. Museum officials agreed to terms on a trade until Hitler stepped in. Declaring the piece one of his favorites, he denied the deal. Today the bust remains in Berlin and would be worth millions if ever put up for auction.

The Portrait Of Adele Bloch-Bauer I Sold For $135 Million

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Painted by Gustav Klimt in 1904, the portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer I took three years to finish. The artist used his wife as a model, recreating her in gorgeous detail using oil and gold. In 1938, the work was put under “Protective Custody” by the Nazi party. And by “Protective Custody,” we mean stolen.

In 2006, Maria Altmann, an heiress of the Bloch-Bauer family, was named the rightful owner of the work and it was returned to her. Seeing an opportunity, she decided to sell the painting to the highest bidder. Ronald Lauder paid $135 million for the work putting the selling price of our next painting to shame.

The Nazis Stole The Portrait Of Dr. Gachet From Themselves

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Vincent Van Gough was placed on Hitler’s list of “degenerate artists” in 1933, and many of his most famous paintings were stolen. One of those paintings was the Portrait of Dr. Gachet. Of course, this painting wasn’t stolen from Van Gough. It was stolen from the Stadel Museum in Germany where it had been on display.

Nazis didn’t hold onto the painting for very long, though. In 1937, the Nazi leader sold the painting for $53,000 to Siegrfied Kramarsky, a Jewish financier. Kramarsky fled to America with the painting and sold it in 1990 for $82.5 million. That’s what we call a return on investment!

Painter On The Road To Tarascon Was Burned Before It Could Be Sold

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Another classic painting by Van Gogh, the Painter on the Road to Tarascon was burned and destroyed by the Nazis before it could be sold. Considered incredibly valuable at the time, it is one of the most famous lost works of art the Nazis took.

The reason the painting is still valued today is that it’s a self-portrait of Van Gogh himself. He portrays himself as a lonely traveler lost in the world. Describing the painting before he died, Van Gogh said, ” Real painters do not paint things as they are…They paint them as they themselves feel them to be.” Coming up, not even saints were off-limits to the Nazi regime.

Saint Justa And Saint Rufina Eventually Found Their Way Back Home

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Valued at $10 million, the painting of Saint Justa and Saint Rufina is currently on display at the Meadows Museum in Dallas. The museum is home to one of the world’s largest collections of Spanish art, including works stolen from them by the Nazis during World War II.

During the war, the paintings were recovered by the Monuments Men, a group of soldiers tasked with recovering stolen art on the front lines. During their time in battle, the group found over 1,500 pieces of cultural objects and art that were stolen.

The Art Of Painting Was “Sold” To The Nazis

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Hitler loved art so much that he didn’t always steal it. Sometimes he took it, then paid money to make it look like he bought it. This is exactly what happened with the Art of Painting. Count Rudolf Czernin of Vienna owned the painting during World Warr II when he was forced to sell it to Hitler.

Sitting on an offer from the American government for six million dollars, the Count accepted a far inferior offer from the Nazi Regime. The Monuments Men recovered the painting in 1945 before it was scheduled to be blown up. It is currently on display at the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna. Still ahead, how Adam and Eve barely survived World War II.

Adam And Eve Rest Happily In Pasadena, California

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In 2018, it was ruled by an appeals court in the United States that the Norton Simon Museum in Pasadena, California owns the legal rights to two Adam and Eve paintings stolen by the Nazis during the great war. The court determined the painting was legally sold to the Nazis, who then sold them to an American.

The family claiming ownership in the lawsuit says the sale of the painting to the Nazis was forced. The lawsuit sat in litigation for 11 years before being settled. The museum released this statement after the ruling, “Today’s decision should finally put this matter to rest.”

The Portrait Of A Young Man Is Still Missing

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Painted by Raphael in 1514, the Portrait of a Young Man was brought to Krakow in 1798 from Italy. It was put on display at the Czartoryski Museum, which tried to hide it at the start of the German invasion. The Nazis discovered the painting and began fighting over which leader would get to hang it in their office.

Hans Frank, the Governor-General of Poland ended up winning possession of the painting and proudly put it on display. When he was forced to flee in 1945, he took the valuable painting with him. When he was caught, the painting was nowhere to be found. It’s still missing today.

The Amber Room Is Full Of Riches Waiting To Be Found

The Amber Room Is Full Of Riches Waiting To Be Found

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A chamber decorated with gold leaf and amber panels, the Amber Room is full of treasure waiting to be found. The room was originally gifted to the Tsars by the Prussian royal family in 1716. During World War II, Nazi’s found the room in St. Petersburg, dismantled it, and hid it in a mystery location.

One rumor claims that the room was destroyed by allied bombing in 1944. Another claims the room was hidden in the fabled Nazi Gold Train, an artifact of war that was thought to be found in 2015. Excavation proved fruitless, though, and the real mystery persists to this day.

The Madonna Of Bruges Was Found By The Monuments Men In A Salt Mine

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Constructed by Michaelangelo between 1501 and 1504, the Madonna of Bruges was brought to Belgium by merchants. The sculpture remained there until 1944 when German forces stole the piece while retreating from Belgium. To hide it, they surrounded Madonna with mattresses and used a Red Cross truck for transport.

One year later, the Madonna of Bruges was found by the Monuments Men in the salt mines in Altaussee. They returned it to Belgium, where it was put back in its place at the Church of Our Lady in Bruges.