The Ministry of Culture of Poland sent an application to the Russian authorities for the restitution of seven works of art that were taken out of the country during the Second World War. This was reported on the official website of the Polish department.
According to the department, we are talking about the canvases “Adoration of the Child” by Lorenzo di Credi, “Two Sorrowing Saints” by Aretino Spinello, “Christ and the Sinner” by Luca Giordano, “Portrait of the Artist” by Valentin de Boulogne, “Italian Landscape with Staffage” by Andrea Locatelli, “ Madonna and Child with John the Baptist” and “Madonna and Child in a Landscape” by unknown authors. The Ministry of Culture of Poland states that before the Second World War, the canvases were kept in the museums of Poznan, Lodz, Wroclaw and Wilanow, as well as the Goluchow estate, but are now in the collection of the Pushkin Museum in Moscow.
“Cases of theft of cultural property have no statute of limitations, not only in ethical and moral terms, but also in the field of international law. The Polish state will never stop searching for and returning cultural property looted as a result of the Second World War, ”Polish Minister of Culture Piotr Gliński said in a statement.
According to the agency, earlier the Polish side sent Russia 20 applications for restitution – in 2004, 2012 and 2014 – demanding the return of several thousand works of art. However, the Russian authorities, the Ministry of Culture of Poland noted, have not yet considered the claims made. At the same time, the ministry said, over the past six years, Poland has returned more than 600 works of art from other countries.
In total, Poland estimates the number of cultural artifacts lost during the war years at 516,000 objects. Museums have lost 50% of their collections, libraries – 70% compared to the pre-war state, according to the Ministry of Culture of the country.
Representatives of the Russian Ministry of Culture, in a commentary to RBC, said that there were no official requests from Poland regarding the transfer of seven paintings from the Pushkin Museum. The department also added that all the paintings that the Polish side requires to return belong to a special category of valuables, since they were brought to the Soviet Union as part of the restitution procedure, and issues related to these works of art are resolved in a special order.
“This type of valuables belongs to a special category, since they were transferred to the territory of the USSR in the implementation of compensatory restitution for the actions of Nazi Germany and its allies during the Great Patriotic War,” the department commented.