Hitler oil painting attacked with screwdriver

The Hitler painting of two men in a corridor Image copyright Museo della Follia
Image caption The painting is among more than 200 works on display at the exhibition, which runs until 19 November

An oil painting by Adolf Hitler hanging in an Italian museum has been attacked by a man wielding a screwdriver.

The untitled work was damaged by a 40-year-old man who was outraged that the painting by the Nazi leader was hanging in a public space, the Corriere della Sera newspaper reports.

It had been loaned by a private collector to the Museum of Salo, on the shores of Lake Garda, for an exhibition called the "Museum of Madness" earlier this year.

The exhibition's curator, Vittorio Sgarbi, hasn't changed his view on the Hitler painting, calling it "a piece of crap", and has defended its part in the show.

"The exhibition addresses the theme of madness and this picture is perfect. Nothing is as crazy as war, " he told Corriere della Sera. "It is not the work of a dictator but that of a wretch, it reveals a profoundly melancholy soul."

Art attack

Giordano Bruno Guerri, the president of the museum, saw art in the attack on the oil painting as well. "The show about madness would not have been complete if it did not host an episode of madness," he said.

But Mr Sgarbi disagreed, saying that even unpleasant works "should be viewed with contempt and distance... without reproducing the censorship and hatred expressed by dictators," Germany's Deutsche Welle reports.

The painting has been repaired and returned to the exhibition, and its German owner has decided not to press charges against the attacker.

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