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Painting lost in WWII returns to Polish museum

A 1872 painting lost in World War II and recently recovered by Polish experts and police was on Monday showcased to the public.

The painting, entitled Winter in a Small Town, is the work of renowned Polish artist Maksymilian Gierymski (1846-1874). It has been recovered through the joint efforts of regional police and experts from the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage in Warsaw.

The painting was presented in a high-profile ceremony at a gallery in the southern city of Kraków, a division of the city’s National Museum.

The Gierymski work will return permanently to the National Museum in Kraków after several months of restoration work.

“For many years, we’ve been trying to locate and regain lost artwork in a systematic way,” said Piotr Gliński, the minister for culture and national heritage and a deputy prime minister, while showcasing the painting on Monday.

He added that the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage operates a special department that employs specialists who are tasked with recovering lost artworks.

They work closely with police, prosecutors and diplomatic missions as well as law enforcement services and institutions in other countries, including the FBI, Gliński said.

An official list of Poland’s wartime losses comprises almost 63,000 works of art, including paintings, sculptures, handicrafts and furniture, according to Gliński.

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