Hitler paintings
One of two water-colour paintings found in the cellar of an Iranian semi-public foundation and attributed to Adolf HitlerAFP

Paintings created by German dictator Adolf Hitler on display at an art exhibition in Tehran are attracting crowds of curious Iranians.

The artworks by the future Fuhrer of Nazi Germany were drawn when he was an impoverished, aspiring artist in Vienna before World War One.

Dafineh Art Gallery is holding the exhibition, entitled "Colour, Canvas, Architecture," featuring 25 pieces produced by both Iranian and foreign artists. The show has been themed around architectural renderings and urban buildings.

"The exhibition also includes water colours by other artists, but most visitors come to see the Hitler paintings," Golnaz Golsabahi, curator of the gallery, told German news agency, DPA. She added that several Iranians were surprised to know that "a blood-thirsty dictator like Hitler" also produced art.

While one of the images portrays a church besides a theatre, the other work of art depicts a building, thought to a university.

The two Hitler pieces are thought to be owned by a culture centre affiliated with the Mostazafan Foundation. The curator suspects the paintings were bought by a rich Iranian collector several decades ago and they were later confiscated after the 1979 Iran Revolution. The watercolour paintings are estimated to have been painted anywhere between 1900 and 1910 when Hitler was living in Vienna.