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„The prevalence of the image of the lost work of art is the first step to its recovery.”

The Lost Museum gives a rise to discussion, the exchange of views on education and the promotion of knowledge about the Polish loses of works of art during World War II. The project supports the activities of the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage, involving the discovery and recovery of lost treasures.

We are aware of the small chance of recovery, lost over the centuries, Polish cultural heritage, but we want the objects presented by us, to ” mentally ” come back to life, to social awareness.

We keep this website, where you will find successively published collections of lost and recovered art, and a profile on Facebook {}, where also you can follow the development of the project. In 2013, we organized a campaign with well-known Poles – 50 films in which valued people talk about the lost paintings. Most important, however, part of the Lost Museum are the events during the Night of Museums in major Polish cities. Their main feature is a multimedia show featuring collections of works that Poland lost. In addition, to enable access to our collection to broad public, every year we produce a DVD of the film and we send it to museums and cultural institutions across the country.

Ministry of Culture and National Heritage since 1992, collects data on war losses. For Polish war losses, considered to be movable cultural property, lost as a result of World War II from the Polish territories after 1945.Initially, the documentation was carried out as part of the Office of the Government Plenipotentiary for Polish Cultural Heritage Abroad. In 2001, after the abolition of the office of the attorney, his job was taken by the Minister of Culture. Currently, the work is continued by the Department for War Losses in the Department of Cultural Heritage, which is not only gathering information about the losses of war, but also the search and recovery of lost monuments in the country and abroad.

Department also offers war losses database – the only national electronic register of movable cultural property lost as a result of World War II. It includes within its scope as many as 23 categories including: painting, sculpture, graphics , furniture , textiles , porcelain , glass, goldsmithing , military , numismatic and archaeological sites. To this date registered in the database record is about 63 000 pieces. Some of them were saved with a few items, once common in the collection to be bearing the same inventory number.

Collected in the database information is progressively made available on the website of the Ministry of Culture and Foreign Affair sites : Central Registry of Information on Cultural Property looted in 1933-1945 and Art Loss Register, and published in the book series of the Department of Culture Polish losses, in which there were previously 19 items, including catalogs showing war casualties in the field of Polish and foreign paintings, ancient art, prints and drawings from the collection of Jacob Kabruna or historic bells. Directories war losses are sent to museums, the world’s largest auction houses, Polish diplomatic and consular institutions and providencial research organizations.

To this day, thanks to the efforts of the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage, the country has recovered many valuable objects. The recovery of most of them was possible thanks to information given by museum curators, collectors and enthusiasts, so if any of the included in the presentation of the lost objects is recognized by you, as the survivor of the horrors of war, please contact the Department for War Losses in the Department of Cultural Heritage.

The Programme Council of the Lost Museum:

  • Pweł Jaskanis – Director of the Museum – Palace in Wilanów
  • dr hab. Piotr Majewski – Director of the National Institute of Museology and Conservation of Collections
  • Dr. Tomasz Makowski – Director of the National Library
  • prof. dr hab. Małgorzata Omilanowska – Undersecretary of the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage
  • prof. Maria Poprzęcka – art historian, University of Warsaw
  • prof. dr hab. Andrew Rottermund – Director of the Royal Castle in Warsaw
  • dr hab. Władysław Stępniak – General Director of State Archives

Project coordinators:

Anna Zimecka

Ad Art Foundation Artis

tel : +48 22 898 84 25

Paulina Goliszewska-Borys

Ad Art Foundation Artis

Tel : +48 512 609 934

Elżbieta Rogowska

Ministry of Culture and National Heritage

tel : +48 22 42 10 393

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