Flemish masterpiece returned to Wrocław museum
PR dla Zagranicy
The 'Saint Ivo, Advocate of the Poor' painting has returned to its rightful place for the first time since 1945.
The foreign ministry led by Grzegorz Schetyna (L) was instrumental in repatriating the painting. Photo: Foreign Ministry/ Michał Jasiulewicz
The oil sketch was painted by Flemish artist Jacob Jordaens (1593-1678), and depicts Saint Ivo, patron saint of lawyers.
It is one of a number of artworks which were returned to Poland following years of appeal by the Polish Foreign Ministry.
“We are proud that such masterpieces can be returned to the places where they had been on display for years, often centuries. It’s a difficult process, but one that is also important for international relations,” Foreign Minister Grzegorz Schetyna said at the unveiling ceremony on Friday.
The painting had been in the collection of the Museum of Fine Arts in Wrocław until 1944. It was relocated to Kamieniec Ząbkowicki as a security measure during the war.
However, in 1945, it was presumably lost after the Red Army gained control of the area.
Saint Ivo surfaced in 2008 at a London auction, but a swift response by authorities saw it being withdrawn.
“It’s amazing to be able to witness such a painting masterpiece return home. The recovery of the Jordaens is one of the most significant events in the history of our repatriation of art lost in the war,” Małgorzata Omilanowska, the Minister of Culture and National Heritage, said. (rg)