Jiri Kuchar, Czech author, finds 16 paintings once owned by Hitler

PRAGUE, Czech Republic — Czech author Jiri Kuchar has discovered 16 paintings once owned by Hitler in a Czech monastery, reported the Associated Press

AP said the $2.7 million collection contains works by German artists like Franz Eichhorst, Paul Herrmann, Sepp Hilz, Friedrich W. Kalb, Oscar Oestreicher, and others.

Hitler, an avid art collector, hid the collection at a monastery in the southern Czech town of Vyssi Brod for safe-keeping after Czechoslovakia was invaded by the Nazis during the Second World War. 

Kuchar, who has written two books on Hitler's art collections, today displayed seven of the recovered paintings at the convent in northern Czech city of Doksany, where he had found the 16 works, said AP

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The 16 paintings are believed to be part of a total of 70 pieces of contemporary German art the Third Reich had stored at the monastery, according to AP

Munich's Zentralinstitut fur Kunstgeschichte, a German art institute and database, confirmed Hitler's ownership of the works but told AP that the new finds were relatively "low" in value.

Kuchar, who spent five years searching for the paintings, told AFP on Monday that the "monks who got the monastery back after the war said they didn't want the paintings," explaining that they went through several castles and monasteries before ending up at Doksany, where he found them last July.

Hitler obtained some 5,000 works of art during his military exploits, a massive trove collectively referred to as the "Linz Collection" because the Nazis once planned to create a museum for them in Linz, Austria.

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