The hunt for stolen art
Thursday, 09 January 2014 14:46

IN A room in the ministry of foreign affairs, Poland’s foreign minister, Radoslaw Sikorski, presented on January 8th a collection of 80 stunning paintings and drawings. Stolen by Nazi forces from the capital’s national museum in 1944 in the aftermath of the Warsaw uprising, they were returned to Agnieska Morawinska, the national museum’s current director.

The collection, which features paintings and drawings by Alfred Schouppé and Ignacy Lopienski, two Polish artists, also includes an original illustration from 1617 depicting Warsaw from the east side of the Vistula. The Polish embassy in Vienna had been alerted to the existence of the collection by Bertrand Perz, an Austrian art historian. It appears that the collection had been stored in Fischhorn, an Austrian castle, until the end of the war, at which point it somehow fell into the private ownership of a resident in a nearby town. According to the foreign ministry, the Austrian collector, who returned the works, wishes to remain anonymous.

Lopienski’s portraits, a collection of delicate portraits of well-known personalities from Warsaw’s pre-war...Continue reading

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