Original URL: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2006/09/27/auction_protest/

'Comedy terrorist' storms Hitler art sale

'Offensive' auction protest

By Lester Haines

Posted in Bootnotes, 27th September 2006 09:24 GMT

Aaron Barschak, the "comedy terrorist" who famously gatecrashed Prince William's 21st birthday party, was yesterday ejected from a sale of Hitler artworks after "disrupting" the bidding, the BBC reports.

Barschack and "a man dressed as Hitler" stormed the auction of 21 paintings and two pencil drawings attributed to the late German dictator, held at Jefferys auctioneers in Lostwithiel, Cornwall.

They offered "six million because the painting was a Mussolini", in what is described as a "comical protest" against the "offensive" sale.

The offending works were discovered in an old suitcase in a Belgian attic "close to where Hitler served during World War I". Their disposal has ruffled a few feathers in the Jewish community, with Dr Paul Newgass of Exeter Synagogue describing the auction as "a bit grotesque".

Newgass added: "It's stirring up the past and a slap in the face for the families of Holocaust victims. I can understand why some people feel so distressed, but I don't think the auction will impact on the day-to-day aspect of Jewish life."

Barschack's wife Tamara defended her husband's intervention with: "This is a comical protest. The sale here is offensive - it should never have been held.

"It's not a surprise that when they did decide to hold it they chose a quiet village in Cornwall. If it was in London there would have been protests. Adolf Hitler was a mass murderer and to make money from that is wrong."

Auctioneer Ian Morris described the kerfuffle as "just one of those things", adding: "These are historical documents and we can't change history.

"Maybe it's not so bad to bring this man back to the fore, so the things he did are never forgotten."

The Hitler lots finally went for a combined total of £118,000. ®