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German police say 17th-century paintings were found in dumpster

BERLIN – German police on Friday asked for information on the possible owners of two 17th-century paintings found in a motorway dumpster.

Police said a 64-year-old man found the oil paintings at the rest area near Ohrenbach in central Germany last month.

He then handed them over to the police in the western city of Cologne.

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An initial assessment by an art expert concluded that the two framed paintings were originals, police said.

One is a self-portrait by Pietro Belloti showing the smiling Italian artist and dating from 1665.

The other is a portrait of a boy by 17th century Dutch artist Samuel van Hoogstraten, date unknown.