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East German leading figure of the Socialist Realist style artist Willi Sitte dies
A museum visitor looks at the painting "Homage - Lenin" (1969) by German painter Willi Sitte prior to the official opening of the exhibition "Kunst in der DDR" ("Art in the GDR") in Berlin's New National Gallery. Willi Sitte died on June 8, 2013 at the age of 92. AFP PHOTO / ROBERT MICHAEL.
BERLIN (AFP).- Willi Sitte, the former Communist East Germany's top artist and a leading figure of the Socialist Realist style, died Saturday, his gallery said.

Sitte was also a long-serving, high-ranking official in the Communist regime of the state that was dissolved and reunited in 1990 with West Germany.

His closeness to the East German state apparatus meant he remained a contentious figure in Germany after reunification.

Sitte denied reports in 2001 that he had close links to the notorious Stasi secret police.

His works were large format depictions of workers and miners but he also made numerous erotic works.

Socialist Realism was developed in the Soviet Union and became a dominant style there and in other socialist countries. Its aim was to further the goals of socialism and communism.

Sitte's gallery in Meresburg, near the eastern city of Leipzig, confirmed that the artist died at home on Saturday aged 92.



© 1994-2013 Agence France-Presse





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