£500m of plundered art hidden in German silver mine

An expedition to uncover £500 million of missing artwork looted by the Nazis during the Second World War has been launched in Germany.

The Mail Online reports impressionist masterpieces by Cezanne, Manet and Monet, along with tapestries, carpets and sculptures, are buried in an old silver mine about 90 minutes from Dresden.

The paintings, says Mail Online, belong to Baron Ferenc Hatvany, a Hungarian-Jewish industrialist and art patron whose collection of between 250 and 500 art pieces was looted by Nazi SS Lieutenant Adolf Eichmann.

Eichmann, a Holocaust organizer responsible for sending some 400,000 Jews to the gas chambers at Auschwitz, was in Hungary in 1944.

Viennese historian Burkhart List, 62, says he has acquired documents from old Wehrmacht archives that report a mass shipment of the Hatvany collection to two subterranean galleries, measuring 6,000 by 4,500 feet, in the Erzgebirge Mountains.

So far the explorations have yielded only a Schmeisser machine gun, a Nazi gas mask, plastic explosive detonators and a safe deposit key.

Photo by Shutterstock shows a Hungarian postage stamp with a painting by French impressionist Edouard Manet, some of whose works are said to have been stolen and hidden by the Nazis in a German silver mine.

 

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