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Channel 4 buys painting by Hitler and could let Jimmy Carr burn it with flamethrower

Joe Harker

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Channel 4 buys painting by Hitler and could let Jimmy Carr burn it with flamethrower

Channel 4 has gone and bought a painting by Hitler and they could be letting Jimmy Carr destroy it live on TV.

Before becoming one of the most notorious dictators and kicking off World War Two, Adolf Hitler was a pretty mediocre artist.

He infamously got rejected from art school earlier in his life and struggled to make a living as a painter.

While his paintings were pretty bland, the fact that they were done by one of history's greatest monsters has made them the target of morbid fascination.

Some of them have sold for big money at auctions while others have been seized by the US government and kept in storage, never to be shown to the public.

Hitler was a failed artist before becoming the brutal mass murdering dictator who killed millions. Credit: INTERFOTO / Alamy Stock Photo
Hitler was a failed artist before becoming the brutal mass murdering dictator who killed millions. Credit: INTERFOTO / Alamy Stock Photo

Now one of them has been acquired by Channel 4, and the broadcaster is going to let an audience decide whether Carr gets to destroy it.

This is part of one-off show Jimmy Carr Destroys Art, a televised debate show airing on 24 October which will take controversial and expensive pieces of art and decide whether they ought to be saved or destroyed.

Some of them could end up being torched by a flamethrower, while if the audience decides to destroy the Hitler painting it'll be fed through a shredder.

Speaking to The Guardian, Channel 4 director of programming Ian Katz said that the pitch behind the show was something that was 'difficult and expensive'.

He said: "There are advocates for each piece of art, So you’ve got an advocate for Hitler.

"There’ll be someone arguing not for Hitler, but for the fact that his moral character should not decide whether or not a piece of art exists or not."

Jimmy Carr could get to destroy one of Hitler's paintings. Credit: Cheese Scientist / Alamy Stock Photo
Jimmy Carr could get to destroy one of Hitler's paintings. Credit: Cheese Scientist / Alamy Stock Photo

Of the decision to launch the show, Channel 4 said: "Jimmy Carr Destroys Art is a thoughtful and nuanced exploration of the limits of free expression in art, and whether work by morally despicable artists still deserves to be seen.

"It speaks directly to the current debate around cancel culture and is in a long tradition of Channel 4 programming."

And alongside the Hitler painting, other works of art to be debated on and possibly destroyed will be a vase made by the highly misogynistic Picasso, as well as artworks by paedophile Rolf Harris and convicted sex offender Eric Gill.

Even if the audience votes to save the Hitler painting, Channel 4 have said they'll get rid of it anyway, confirming that it'll be 'appropriately' disposed of once the show is done.

Katz has said the show is the type of programme which takes risks Channel 4 probably wouldn't be able to take if it ended up being privatised as the government had planned.

Featured Image Credit: Hi-Story/Alamy Cheese Scientist / Alamy

Topics: Channel 4, TV and Film, Jimmy Carr, Art

Joe Harker
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