Hitler painting shredded by Jimmy Carr ‘was a fake’ says art expert

The artwork supposedly created by the Nazi leader was destroyed by comedian Jimmy Carr live on television - but an expert says it was a clear forgery


A Painting said to be by Adolf Hitler and destroyed by comedian Jimmy Carr live on television was a fake, a leading expert has told the JC.

Bart Droog, an expert in fake poems and paintings attributed to Hitler, said: “This is a clear fake. It doesn’t even resemble any known authentic Hitler watercolour.”
Channel 4 said on air the painting had been bought from an auction house for £11,500 before shredding it on Jimmy Carr Destroys Art on Tuesday night.

Mr Droog and his colleague Jaap van den Born have been conducting in-depth research into Hitler’s authentic watercolours and drawings, as well as the forgery industry that produces fake Hitler works.

Since 2017 they have exposed hundreds of poems, paintings and drawings attributed to Hitler as forgeries. Based on their research, the German police seized more than 60 fake Hitler paintings at several auction houses in 2019.

Mr Droog said: “By seeking cheap publicity with sensational, bogus Hitler news, Channel 4 not only insults and hurts the Jewish community but does the same to all relatives of his victims.”

Asked if Channel 4 should have known the painting was fake, Mr Droog said: “Yes, they would have known if they had employed a true expert. By buying a fake Hitler work and presenting it as authentic, Channel 4 not only sponsored criminals and inspired forgers to make more phony Hitlers, but also cooperated with the forgers in faking history itself.”

Hitler had wanted to become an artist before turning to politics. While some of his early artworks do exist, many forgeries are frequently traded by collectors.

Channel 4 described the painting as a “delicate watercolour depicting an ecclesiastical scene of a cloister and bell tower … It’s dated on the back to 1921. On the front, there’s a signature of Adolf Hitler.”

While the programme conceded that “there are a lot of forged Hitlers being sold on the market”, it insisted that it “came with detailed provenance which claims Hitler gave it to his Air Minister Hermann Göring, who left it to a group of Luftwaffe pilots after his death.”

Mr Droog said the auctioneer’s claims were obviously bogus: “Apart from one work from 1906 and probably some from 1914-1915, all Hitler ‘watercolours’ originate from 1910-1914 and depict Viennese or Munich cityscapes. The story about its provenance is a fairytale.”

A Channel 4 spokesman said: “The painting was bought from a reputable auction house which had authenticated it as genuine. It was made clear in the programme the painting may not be a genuine Hitler.

“The question being asked of the studio audience was: is it morally right for individuals to profit from artworks that are claiming to be Hitler paintings? Should these pieces exist or be destroyed?”

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