Giant Hitler Head Pops Up in Polish Garden

This one's made of marble and stands 20 inches high
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 9, 2015 8:03 AM CST
Two busts of Adolf Hitler are pictured during a preview for the exhIbition "Hitler and the Germans—Nation and Crime" in Berlin, Oct. 13, 2010.   (AP Photo/Michael Sohn)

(Newser) – It was just another day of typical garden work at a Polish museum when a worker's shovel clanked against something hard buried in the ground. The find: a 20-inch-high marble sculpture of the head of one Adolf Hitler, AFP reports. "Somebody made an effort to properly hide it, it was buried some [2 feet] underground," Lech Lopuski, a curator at Gdansk's National Museum, tells the Dziennik Baltycki website, via the BBC. Inscribed on the bust is "Thorak 1942," designating it as the work of Josef Thorak, who was known as one of the Fuhrer's favorite sculptors, per AFP. "It's an important sculpture because we didn't know it existed," Lopuski notes. "Thorak was a gifted sculptor, and we can see that he did a good job."

Thorak's works were known to be monumental, designed for use in official buildings and public spaces, per the BBC. While museum officials still aren't sure how this Hitler head ended up in the garden—and remained hidden for 70 years, even when work was done to install a new fountain and flower beds, Lopuski says—there's been speculation it was buried in 1945, just before the Soviet army infiltrated Gdansk. Lopuski theorizes the sculpture may have been part of the furnishings for the office of the museum director at the time, per AFP. But just because the Hitler head was found on museum grounds doesn't mean it will be up for display anytime soon. "For the time being, it goes to a warehouse," the museum's director says, per the BBC. "It needs to be studied scientifically to find out who ordered it, where it stood, and how it ended up in the museum." Lopuski adds, per AFP: "It's a delicate issue." (Hitler's long-lost bronze horses were just found in May.)

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