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Foreign ministry promotes returned art treasures

PR dla Zagranicy
Nick Hodge 14.08.2013 10:07
Poland's foreign ministry is promoting ten outstanding restituted art treasures, currently on view at various institutions across the country.

Orszak, W.Wojtkiewicz: photo: msz.gov.pl

“Poland lost over 500,000 works of art during the Second World War,” said ministry spokesman Michal Safianik at a press conference in Warsaw.

Of these, around 600 important works have been recovered in recent years.

The ten works picked by the ministry are all accessible at Polish museums and cultural institutions over the forthcoming long weekend, which begins Thursday, the Feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

The most precious of all the highlighted ten works is Lucas Cranach the Elder's Madonna under the Firs, which can be seen at the Archdiocesan Museum in Wroclaw, south west Poland.

A further restitution success was achieved with the recovery of Orszak (pictured), a 1908 painting by Witold Wojtkiewicz, whose style foreshadowed Polish Expressionism. The painting is on view at the National Museum in Warsaw.

Other works include a Madonna and Child by an unidentified artist, currently housed at the Bishop Erazm Ciolek Museum in Krakow, a branch of the National Museum.

Professor Wojciech Kowalski, a specialist on art restitution at the foreign ministry said the efforts had been most successful in cooperation with the United States.

“A number of years ago, the United States launched an action to restore the good name of American museums,” he said.

“All this has created a conducive atmosphere, which is not the case in Europe,” he added. (nh/pg)

Images of the ten works in the spotlight can be seen on the foreign ministry web site here.

source: PAP

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