National Gallery artwork was once owned by Hitler

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London, Mar 31 : A painting owned by the National Gallery in the UK was once possessed by none other than Adolf Hitler, says an expert.

Dr Birgit Schwartz, who is researching Hitler's art collection, said that the walls of Hitler's private gallery once donned the painting, titled 'Cupid Complaining To Venus'.

The discovery was made when Schwartz was examining photographs from the great dictator's personal library, reports BBC.

Now the gallery is looking for more details regarding the whereabouts of this painting.

In fact, a gallery spokesman said they had "no reason to doubt the claim" and urged that anyone with information about the Lucas Cranach painting should come forward to share the details.

The painting showing Cupid holding a honeycomb and telling Venus that he has been stung by bees was sold to the gallery by New York dealers E andA Silbermann in 1963.

However, The National Gallery revealed that it was only recently that they came to know that the portrait was acquired in 1945 by Mrs Patricia Lochridge Hartwell, an American war correspondent in Nazi Germany.

One of her relatives said she was permitted to take the painting from a warehouse full of art, which was controlled by US forces in Southern Germany, and finally Hartwell brought the painting to US.

Now, the gallery wants to probe how and when 'Cupid Complaining to Venus' became a part of Hitler's collection.

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