Posted by on January 25, 2023 7:47 pm
Categories: News Washington Examiner

WATCH: Spanish museum returns paintings stolen by Nazis in WWII to Poland

Two people take down the diptych of Ecce Homo after the signing of the act of restitution of the diptych of the Dolorosa and Ecce Homo to Poland at the Museum of Pontevedra in Pontevedra, northwestern Spain, Wednesday, Jan. 25, 2023. A museum in northwest Spain has returned two 15th-century paintings to Polish officials after it was determined that they were looted by the forces of Nazi Germany during World War II. (Gustavo de la Paz/Europa Press via AP) Gustavo de la Paz/AP

WATCH: Spanish museum returns paintings stolen by Nazis in WWII to Poland

Julia Johnson January 25, 07:02 PMJanuary 25, 07:02 PM Video Embed

Two 15th-century paintings were returned by a Spanish museum to Polish officials Wednesday following the determination that the art had been looted by Nazis during World War II.

The artworks, known as Mater Dolorosa and Ecce Homo, were given to a delegation from Poland’s culture ministry by Spain’s Museum of Pontevedra.

Initially believed to be done by Dieric Bouts, who was a Flemish artist from the Dutch town of Haarlem, it is now understood that the paintings are products of a member of his school.


The museum was informed of the paintings’ dark origins in 2020, it said. Following the revelation, it made the decision to return them, but the permitting process delayed the transfer until now.

According to Polish officials, the works were stolen from the Czartoryski collection in Goluchow by Nazi forces during the German occupation. In 1973, they resurfaced in Madrid. They have been in the care of the Pontevedra museum since 1994, when the institution acquired hundreds of pieces from a private Spanish collector.

In video footage posted by the museum, men are seen carefully removing a painting from the wall.

Thanking the museum, Director of the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage of Poland Elzbieta Rogowska said, “Poland lost hundreds of thousands of works of its heritage. Locating a spoliated work is a procedure that can last for years. We thank the assistance of this process,” per a translation.


“It was a pioneering process that could be a road map that could serve other institutions in Europe,” said Pontevedra’s mayor, Miguel Anxo Fernandez Lores, according to a translation.

Polish Secretary of State for European Policy Arkadiusz Mularczyk reportedly estimates that nearly 500,000 valuable cultural artifacts are missing and likely in German homes, museums, and public spaces.

© 2023 Washington Examiner

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