9 November 2010
Last updated at 10:55
Ten sculptures are being exhibited in Berlin nearly 70 years after they were buried in the rubble of wartime Germany. They were condemned by the Nazis for having "deviant" sexual elements, anti-nationalistic themes or criticising Nazi ideology.
The Nazis wanted art to be traditional, heroic and German. They hated anything that would now be called modern art, which at the time they dubbed "degenerate art". These sculptures were included in this label.
The pieces were found on the site of an office building that burned down in the summer of 1944. Archaeologist Matthias Wemhoff said a conscious decision had been made not to restore the sculptures, so that the fire's effect on them is still visible.
Archaeologists had hoped to find traces of the town's medieval history but discovered the controversial statues, which had been lying in the cellar of a bombed-out house for over 60 years.
Two of the works discovered, including Marg Moll's Female Dancer (pictured) and and Otto Freundlich's terracotta Head were featured in the 1941 Nazi propaganda film Venus on Trial.
Karl Knappe's Hagar started off as a bronze statue (left). The centre picture shows the condition it was discovered in and the last picture shows its condition once it had been cleaned.
Artist Naum Slutzky, a member of the Bauhaus school, fled to England in 1933, where he taught art and lived until his death in 1965.
Berlin Mayor Klaus Wowereit said unearthing the works which had been banned by the Nazis was "a reminder of the darkest chapter of German history". They were discovered during construction of an underground railway.
'Degenerate' artists, some of the great names of modern art like Ernst, Kirchner or Klee, were sacked or banned. Thousands of canvases were burnt or sold and it was rumoured that some may have been taken by the Red Army in 1945.
Otto Freundlich's Head was deemed too fragile to be put in display.
The sculptures are being unveiled in Berlin's Neues Museum.