A bicycle that once belonged to the Nazi dictator, Adolf Hitler, has been discovered languishing in the back storeroom of a Viennese baker's shop.
It is believed that the bicycle - a heavy, black-framed model of German manufacture, was used by Hitler as his personnel transport during the 1920s, when he was resident in the Austrian capital.
During his time in Vienna, he had been working as an artist, and had been trying to gain acceptance to the city's world-renowned art school. Unhappily for the man who would go on to rule most of Europe, his paintings were deemed to be of an unacceptable standard and he had struggled to earn enough money from his work to support himself.
Faced with destitution, he was forced to exchange the bicycle - his one asset, for a weeks supply of food from the small family bakery. Where it had remained ever since.
It was only when the current proprietor; Herr Wolfgang Schutz, spoke to his grandfather about the bicycle - that he had found beneath a pile of cardboard boxes, that he learnt the identity of its previous owner.
Herr Schutz appealed for information on the internet to see if he could verify his grandfather's claim, and was astounded to discover that a photograph of Hitler and the bicycle, which had been taken two years before he was forced through poverty to exchange the bicycle for food, existed in the picture archive of Hitler's late half-sister, Paula.
However, the discovery and verification of the bicycle is not necessarily good news for the Schutz family. Austrian law requires all genuine artefacts from the Nazi period to be registered with the national police force. And in cases where personal items that once belonged to the top echelon of the Third Reich are concerned, the Austrian authorities have routinely demolished the buildings in which they have been found to prevent them from becoming 'shrines'.
Herr Schutz was unavailable for comment.