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I UNDERSTAND
English Section

Poland recovers zoological treasures looted in WWII

12.05.2022 08:30
A collection of valuable exhibits and books stolen from Warsaw’s Zoological Museum during World War II has been brought back to Poland from Austria, officials have said.
Polands Deputy Prime Minister and Culture Minister Piotr Gliński unveils a collection of zoological exhibits and scholarly books that were looted from Warsaws Zoological Museum during World War II and have now been brought back to Poland from Austria.
Poland's Deputy Prime Minister and Culture Minister Piotr Gliński unveils a collection of zoological exhibits and scholarly books that were looted from Warsaw's Zoological Museum during World War II and have now been brought back to Poland from Austria.PAP/Tomasz Gzell

The long-lost tomes and artefacts were unveiled at a ceremony in Warsaw’s Royal Castle on Wednesday, Polish state news agency PAP reported.

In the presence of Polish Deputy Prime Minister Piotr Gliński, the 46 books and 37 exhibits were handed over by officials from the Haus der Natur museum in the central Austrian city of Salzburg.

The recovered items are set to enrich the collection of the Polish Academy of Sciences, reporters were told.

'A unique collection'

Gliński said Poland had retrieved “a unique set of zoological exhibits and scholarly books, looted during the Second World War.”

The deputy prime minister, who is also Poland's culture minister, told reporters that the country had lost “the biggest number of cultural artefacts and scientific resources” during the war.

Whether due to military operations or planned plunder, “Poland lost an estimated 70 percent of its material culture,” he said.

“This includes some half a million artworks,” Gliński added.

He told the media that the exhibits and books regained on Wednesday had been stolen on orders from high-ranking Nazi German officials in November 1939. 

These rare artefacts were shipped from Warsaw’s Zoological Museum to Austria, from where they have now returned after nearly 83 years, the PAP news agency reported. 

(pm/gs)

Source: PAP, gov.pl