Special Delivery to Linz
Year of production: 1999
Hitler dreamed of a museum of "real art;" The
"Special Delivery" of art to Linz was intended to
make this dream come true. Thousands of pictures
were yanked out of their original context.
On Oct. 28th 1996, the adventure-laden odysseys
of these pictures finally came to an end temporarily
at the Museum of Applied Arts in Vienna. The
so-called "leftovers from Mauerbach" - all of the
stolen paintings and works of art that could not be
returned their rightful owners - were then
auctioned off by Christie's.
The documentary tracks the fate of several of the
paintings, which - in light of the historical events
surrounding their special delivery to Linz - have
followed the most extraordinary maze-like paths
throughout Europe, and finally make it back to their
owners or were placed at auction.
The "Special Delivery to Linz," the organized art
theft of the Nazis, not only tore these paintings out
of the context of their creation and the meaning of
their location, but also makes Europe's cultural
assumptions as expressed by the pictures, itself
These images and their subjects represent core
ideas underpinning European intellectual history.
At a decisive point in the film, when trains with
deportees pass trains with stolen art, the idealized
and "ideologized" images encounter barbaric reality
on their way to what was to be the most beautiful
museum in the world. The destination for the
pictures was called Linz, where this "most beautiful
museum in the world" was to be built, in which the
old masters the truly beautiful and good, would be
honored, where the ideal in itself would have its
The pictures never reached their destination.