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Poland launches WWII-plundered art restitution campaign

“Empty Frames” is the name given to a national campaign raising awareness of Polish art plundered by the Germans and Soviets during WWII, Piotr Gliński, Poland’s Culture Minister, announced on Wednesday.

Mr Gliński, who inaugurated the “Empty Frames” initiative, at a special press conference in Warsaw’s King John III Palace Museum, noted that special boards listing Polish art stolen by Poland’s occupants during WWII will appear in 12 Polish cities.

Poland suffered the biggest losses of all the countries occupied… during WWII, also regarding culture and art. According to estimates carried out still during the war, [the country] lost over 50 percent of its museum resources alone,” the Minister said.

He explained how it is impossible to adequately estimate the huge number of Polish art works that were plundered by the Soviets.

Mr Gliński moreover announced that Poland will present Russia with seven further art restitution claims, and stressed that the country will never cease to press for the restitution of its art plundered from its collections during the war.


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