German police seize Nazi-era weapons man said to have found with detector

BERLIN, July 25 (Reuters) - German police said on Wednesday they had seized about 100 Nazi-era rifles, over a dozen grenades and other munitions components from a German man who is suspected of violating gun laws by planning to clean the weapons and sell them.

The man, who comes from the eastern German town of Schkopau, is believed to have found the weapons - most of which were rusty and covered with dirt - using a metal detector, police in the state of Sachsen-Anhalt said in a statement.

He was released in consultation with local prosecutors but faces potential charges of violating strict German laws on the possession of weapons. Officials had no immediate comment on when or whether he would be charged.

RELATED: Largest Nazi bunker turned into museum 

Largest Nazi bunker turned into museum
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Largest Nazi bunker turned into museum

The Tirpitz Bunker's construction began in August 1944 in Blåvand, Denmark, located about 200 miles west of Copenhagen, and was expected to last a little over a year. At the time, Nazi Germany occupied the country.

Photo Credit: National Museum of Denmark

The bunker was meant to defend the seaport city of Esbjerg near Blåvand. However, the project was abandoned a few months later in May 1945, when Germany surrendered.

Photo Credit: Blavandshuk Lokalhistorieske Arkiv/YouTube

The bunker was designed to house two towers containing two 111-ton naval guns each. As you can see in the photo below, the structures were never finished.

Photo Credit: Blavandshuk Lokalhistorieske Arkiv/YouTube

In 2017, BIG — the architecture firm that designed Google's headquarters — expanded and redesigned the bunker into a new gallery space, called the Blåvand Bunker Museum.

Photo Credit: Laurian Ghinitou/BIG

The museum is partially underground, and much of the former bunker was kept intact.

Photo Credit: Laurian Ghinitou/BIG

Planted in sandy, coastal dunes next to the North Sea coast, the site expects to attract around 100,000 visitors annually.

Photo Credit: Laurian Ghinitou/BIG

The museum features four exhibitions, three of which are permanent. They include everything from information about the Atlantic Wall (an extensive system of coastal defense built by Nazi Germany) to the largest collection of amber in Denmark.

Photo Credit: Laurian Ghinitou/BIG

Twenty-foot-tall glass panes face the outdoor courtyard, letting natural daylight into the exhibition halls. Inside, visitors can browse the winding space.

Photo Credit: Laurian Ghinitou/BIG

The architects gave the former bunker a modern feel by installing lighting along the ceiling edges ...

Photo Credit: Laurian Ghinitou/BIG

... but also preserved the building's industrial architecture.

Photo Credit: Laurian Ghinitou/BIG

It consists of four main materials found in the former bunker and the area's natural landscape: concrete, steel, glass, and wood.

Photo Credit: Laurian Ghinitou/BIG

Camouflaging into the landscape, the museum is a "ghost or reflection of the war machine it was meant to be, [both] critical and respectful of the bunker architecture," the architects write.

Photo Credit: Laurian Ghinitou/BIG

"The architecture of the Tirpitz is the antithesis to the WWII bunker," Bjarke Ingels wrote in a press release. "The bunker remains the only landmark of a not so distant dark heritage that upon close inspection marks the entrance to a new cultural meeting place."

Photo Credit: Laurian Ghinitou/BIG


A local police official said the man was a German citizen, but gave few further details.

Police stopped the man, who was driving a small truck, near the town of Beuna. A search of the vehicle and his home resulted in the discovery of numerous weapons dating back to World War Two, as well as a handgun that requires a permit.

(Reporting by Andrea Shalal Editing by Andrew Bolton)

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