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Police uncover huge art works collection at 92 year-old’s flat

PR dla Zagranicy
Peter Gentle 29.09.2011 14:11
Police in Szczecin, northern Poland have taken charge of some 300 works of art from a specially-built bunker belonging to a 92-year-old retired bricklayer, which could be worth “millions of euros”.


The hoard, which includes Renaissance and Baroque paintings, has been removed to the department of the National Museum in the city, where experts are now studying the works.

Several of the objects bear fading museum tags, and according to experts, the collection could be worth “millions of euros.”

However, it remains a mystery how the 92-year-old, named as Antoni M. by the police, came into the hoard.

Antoni M., although described as a bricklayer in the media, led a building company for many years, and according to his daughter, was involved several civic projects in Szczecin.

The collection came to light when a 56-year-old woman informed the police of attempts to steal property from her ageing husband, who owing to ill health can now barely speak.

However, when the police studied a CD that she provided of the man's collection, it quickly became apparent that the works were world class items.

On investigating the property, police found a specially-built shed with doors half a metre thick.

One painting has already been identified as a lost work by noted artist Jozef Czajkowski.

The oil painting had gone missing from the National Museum branch in Katowice, southern Poland, during the last phase of WWII. It was a time of widespread looting, as the Nazi-occupying regime cherry-picked collections.

Investigation into the matter is ongoing. (nh/pg)

tags: art
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