A man in his 40s plunged a screwdriver into an oil painting of Adolf Hitler at a madness-themed art exhibition in Salo, Italy.

The tool-packed art critic was apparently furious that the Salo museum was publicly displaying the Nazi leader’s works, according to the Corriere della Sera newspaper.

He reportedly shouted, “S-head!” while handling the screwdriver. But because the canvas is coated with a special patina added to protect against such attacks, the damage was minimal.

The man fled the museum, but was later apprehended.

Like the vandal, museum curator Victor Sgarbi has a low opinion of the Führer’s painting, calling it “shit”. But it was appropriate for the “Museum of Madness” and should not be censored, he said.

Hitler’s paintings—rather than Hitler’s—were often targets of vandalism at the end of World War II.FPG/Getty Images

“The exhibition deals with the theme of madness and this photo is perfect. Nothing is as mad as war,” he told Corriere della Sera. “It is not the work of a dictator but that of a wretch, it reveals a deeply melancholy soul.”

The president of the museum, Giordano Bruno Guerri, found the destructive act fortuitous.


“The madness show wouldn’t have been complete if it hadn’t hosted an episode of madness,” he told ANSA.

The private room, approximately 14 inches by 16 inches, shows two men in front of a long hallway. It was loaned to the museum, which is a short walk from the shores of Lake Garda. Salo was the “capital” under German protection of Hitler’s ally Benito Mussolini during the last two years of World War II after the “Duce” was deposed in Rome.

The painting was presented with Hitler’s application to the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna, according to Germany. Deutsche Welle.

In “Mein Kampf”, Hitler recognized his limitations with the brush by recalling a conversation with the school principal.

“This gentleman assured me that the drawings I had submitted unquestionably showed my inaptitude for painting, and that my talent was obviously in the field of architecture,” wrote the future dictator.

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