Poland repatriates two paintings looted during WWII

Tomasz Gzell /PAP

Poland has successfully repatriated two Flemish paintings looted from a Polish collection by Nazi Germans during World War Two.

The two paintings, 'Mater Dolorosa' and 'Ecce Homo,' were created in the Dieric Bouts shop between the second half of the 15th century and the first quarter of the 16th century and were owned by the Czartoryski Polish noble family. They were looted from the Czartoryskis' castle in Goluchow, west-central Poland, by Nazi Germany after its invastion of Poland.

The paintings, which had been in the collection of a local museum in Potevedra in western Spain, were located in 2019 by an employee of a Polish restitution office.

Culture Minister Piotr Glinski said at a press conference on Wednesday that the restitution would not have been possible without cooperation with Spain and consent from local authorities.

"Having had legal arguments and evidence, I sent a restitution motion to the Spanish culture minister," Glinski said. "The decision was made in December 2022.

"In all, we're now carrying out 130 restitution processes in more than 10 countries around the world," the culture minister added.

The Polish Culture Ministry's database contains close to 66,000 lost works of art. Some 600 have been repatriated in recent years.

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