A bronze eagle weighing 350-400kg with a swastika under its talons will be auctioned in Uruguay. This was salvaged from a German World War Two warship and it is estimated to be worth about $26m (£21m). The eagle was recovered by private investors from the waters off Uruguay in 2006.The object was part of the stern of the Graf Spee, which was scuttled by its crew off the coast of Uruguay’s capital, Montevideo, in 1939.
Currently it is in a warehouse owned by the Uruguayan government. There was a battle over the ownership. In 2014, the Supreme Court decided that if the eagle were ever to be sold, the profits should be divided between the Uruguayan state and the private salvage company that paid for its recovery. Last year a court in Uruguay ruled that the eagle should be auctioned off.
It is suggested that warnings must be made to potential buyers that Nazi symbols recalling ethnic cleansing cannot be displayed publicly.US Holocaust research center is urging that the object must go to a museum or educational institute. Uruguay briefly displayed it but was withdrawn as he German embassy complained and asked the government to cease exhibiting “Nazi paraphernalia”.