During World War II, art theft and looting was happening all across Europe. After Adolf Hitler’s unsuccessful career as an artist, he had a dream to create the European Art Museum in Linz, which would house all the greatest masterpieces in the world. And so, German soldiers were ordered to steal art from within occupied countries. Galleries were also forced to sell their art at absurdly low prices out of fear. During this period of time, thousands of items were either stolen or destroyed.
Though many items were recovered by agents of the Monuments, Fine Arts, and Archives program (known as the Monuments Men), a lot remain missing. Here is a list of some of the masterpieces that were either lost or destroyed during World War II: