Lost artworks returned to collection of Polish museum

Deputy Prime Minister and Culture Minister Piotr Gliński said during a press conference on Thursday that the process of recovering the works lasted almost a decade. Wojciech Olkuśnik/PAP

Several works of art by Michał Elwiro Andriolli and a painting by Teodor Axentowicz, lost during WWII, have made their way to the collection of the National Museum in Warsaw.

The recovered artworks originate from the interwar-period collection of the Warsaw's Society for the Encouragement of Fine Arts (TZSP) and their fate had been unknown since World War Two.

The series of drawings by Andriolli and a pastel by Axentowicz were returned to the collection of the National Museum, which is the heir to the pre-war collection of the TZSP, thanks to the efforts of Poland's Ministry of Culture and cooperation of law enforcement agencies.

Deputy Prime Minister and Culture Minister Piotr Gliński said during a press conference on Thursday that the process of recovering the works lasted almost a decade.

"The status of sought-after artworks of this kind is very complicated since each has a different legal status," he said.

It was not until 2011 and 2013 that "Lady in Peacock Feathers" by Axentowicz and the drawings of Andriolli, respectively, appeared on the antiquities market.

Andriolli, born in 1836, was a Polish painter and architect of Italian descent.

Axentowicz, born in 1859, was a renowned artist of his times and the rector of the Academy of Fine Arts in Kraków, southern Poland.