I just found out about these two sculptures that have been missing for 26 years and were just found on the 21 of May 2015!
The “Walking Horses” are a pair of lager then live size horses sculpture created by Josef Thorak. The two sculptures where commissioned by Albert Speer for the Reich Chancellery building which Speer also designed. Thorak worked on statues intended to represent the folk-life of Germany under Nazi coordination and these art pieces tended to be huge – up to 65 feet!
The Walking Horses stand 16 feet high and 33 feet long. They once guarded Hitler’s New Reich Chancellery in Berlin, (Germany) planted on either side of the stairs to the building. During World War II, they were relocated and in the 1950’s were on a Red Army barracks’ sports grounds in Eberswalde, northeast of Berlin in the communist German Democratic Republic and were there for about 38 years. The sculpturesn at one point had been shot at and were painted gold to cover their bullet holes.
The horses went missing when the Berlin Wall fell in 1989. Some people thought that they were sold by the German Democratic Republic (GDR).
On May 21st 2015, 26 years later, the pair of Thorak’s larger than life horses have been found. German police discovered two colossal bronze sculptures, called “Walking Horses,” in a investigation about an illegal art trafficking ring. The dealers wanted $5.6 million for the statues in the Black Market.
Here is a little bit about Josef Thorak…
After the war, Thorak retired to Bavaria. . Though he went through de-Nazification, he continued to travel and keep contact with many Nazi networks and remained a favorite artist to many of them. Many of their publications would frequently feature the work of Thorak and his art.
Two years before his death, Thorak had an art show that was not well-received.
One art critic thought that Thorak’s huge statues would have been more appropriate as small porcelain figurines to ‘decorate a small table”. ‘It shows how low our taste has become, that this ‘art’ of the dictatorship still finds acknowledgment today.’”
But to the end, Thorak had kind words for Hitler. “He understood me,” Thorak told Time Magazine “and if what I do is art, he understood art”.
Here are a few photos of the Walking Horses when the Police found them…
It is amazing how many art pieces from this era are still being found today. There is a dispute going on between Josef Thorak’s family and the German Government about who is the official owner is. It will be interesting to see what happens to them.
Hope you enjoyed seeing two equine sculptures that having a very “interesting” life!
Huh? What? Well, I will believe that when I see flying Shetlands !