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Last Updated: Tuesday, 21 September, 2004, 13:17 GMT 14:17 UK
Nazi past haunts Berlin art show
Friedrich Christian Flick next to Martin Kippenberger painting
Flick owns one of the world's finest collections of modern art
The wealthy heir of a top Nazi industrialist is poised to put his prestigious modern art collection on show amid controversy in Germany.

A VIP preview of Friedrich Christian Flick's collection will be held on Tuesday evening at Berlin's Hamburger Bahnhof museum.

Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder is due to open the exhibition, before the public gets to see it on Wednesday.

Jewish groups in Germany say the collection is based on blood money.

The Flick collection comprises about 2,500 modern art works, including pieces by Marcel Duchamp, Alberto Giacometti and Bruce Naumann.

"I always tried to separate the questions about my family history from the collection," Mr Flick said on the eve of the opening.

"The art should not be made responsible."

He is the grandson of the late Friedrich Flick, a prominent arms supplier to the Nazis who used at least 40,000 slave and forced labourers in his factories.

The collection is on loan to Berlin's state museums for seven years.

The BBC's Tristana Moore
"This collection is controversial because critics say the owner... bought it with blood money"

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