Sketch by Castleford sculptor Henry Moore found in Nazi art hoard

Castleford sculptor Henry Moore.
Castleford sculptor Henry Moore.

An authentic watercolour sketch by the Castleford sculptor Henry Moore has been identified among a Nazi art hoard in Europe.

Housed in the Museum of Fine Art in Bern in Switzerland, the discovery was made following an investigation on an episode of BBC One programme Fake Or Fortune?

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Moore’s sketch was among 1,500 works discovered in Germany in 2012 that had belonged to art dealer and war profiteer, Hildebrand Gurlitt.

Gurlitt bought the piece after it was confiscated from a German museum in the 1930s for being what Adolf Hitler classified as “degenerate art”.

As Hitler sought to consolidate power in Germany he set out to purge the country of any modern progressive art.

During the art programme a document was found that proved the museum from which Moore’s sketch was taken had received it from Moore himself.

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Born in Castleford in 1898 his father was an under manager at Wheldale Colliery.

He showed flair for sculpting at a young age and went on to attend Leeds College of Art, where he became friends with famous Wakefield artist, Barbara Hepworth. He became world famous by the end of the 1940s and is best known for producing semi abstract bronze sculptures.

The sketch discovered in Europe has been estimated to be worth up to £70,000 due to its rich and emotive history.

It will be now be displayed in the museum in Bern.