A long-lost art collection owned by Nazi German autocrat Adolf Hitler has been discovered by Czech historian and writer Jiri Kuchar.
Stored deep away in the depository of a Czech convent in the small town of Doskany, the set of seven paintings is a part of an art collection belonging to the dictator believed to have been lost for decades.
Included in the collection was the famed painting Memories of Stalingrad which depicted wounded German soldiers sheltering and protecting themselves in a trench as the war rages around them.
The painting is reportedly one of Hitler's personal favorites although it depicted his army's defeat against Soviet forces at Stalingrad.
Kuchar, who found the paintings at the Doksany monastery 50 kilometres north of Prague, wrote two books on the art collection. He mentioned that the paintings discovered were worth about 50 million koruna or $2.7 million.
They're part of Hitler's collection of about 45 paintings, about 30 statues, a writing table and some gifts, which was declared former Czechoslovakia's war booty, the AFP quoted Kuchar saying.
The Telegraph reported that as the war neared its end, Hitler apparently ordered the paintings, which he had either bought or seized, to be hidden in a monastery in southern Bohemia.
However, the American forces found the collection and transferred them to the central collection point for relics looted by the Nazis during the war.
The artworks then disappeared mysteriously from the collection and whereabouts about the paintings remained a secret until they were finally discovered at the Czech convent.
The discovery is regarded as vital owing to the historical value of the collection. However, Kuchar notes that nine more paintings are yet to be found from the collection.