Berlin gallery displays returned artworks

Associated Press
The painting 'View of Florence' by painter August Wilhelm Julius Ahlborn that was borrowed by the Old National Gallery to decorate the apartment of Adolf Hitler is displayed in Berlin, Germany, Thursday, Dec. 9, 2010 during an exhibition of paintings that got lost after World War II and have recently been returned to Berlin. (AP Photo/Michael Sohn)

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A painting of the Florence skyline that hung in Adolf Hitler's Berlin apartment throughout World War II and was missing for decades has gone on show as part of an exhibition of works returned to the collection of Berlin's National Gallery in the past decade.

The exhibition of 18 such paintings documents the works' odyssey through flak towers, salt mines and water-soaked cellars, more than half a century after they were removed from the museum for safety.

Berlin Museum director Michael Eissenhauer said Thursday that political developments and the birth of the Internet have made it easier to trace missing artworks, leading to a jump in the number of returns since 2000.

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