Warsaw cops rush to auction house to save looted WWII painting – The First News

The police said that had it not been for the police intervention, the painting would have disappeared forever.
Police equipment

A painting looted during World War II has been found after police raided an auction house in Warsaw, moments before it was to be sold.

Looted by the Nazis at the end of World War II, the painting by Art Nouveau artist Edward Okuń is said to be worth more than PLN 1 million.

Police equipment

Police equipment

The work has now been secured by staff at the National Museum in Warsaw.Police equipment

Police spokesman Robert Szumiata said that without police intervention, the painting would have disappeared.

He said: “Police from the (Warsaw) Central Investigation Department, based on a decision issued by the Warsaw Center Regional Prosecutor, entered an auction house in the capital.

The painting by Art Nouveau artist Edward Okuń (pictured) is worth more than PLN 1 million.Public domain

“This is where a painting was to be bid that, at the end of World War II, was looted from an art gallery by Hitler’s forces.”

He added that the real name of the painting was Donzella, saying: “However, the owner of the picture called it ‘Florentynka’ in his trial due to the fact that the woman depicted was of Italian descent, from Florence .

Painted in 1910, the masterpiece features Okuń’s wife, Zofia Okuniowa, as Compiuta Donzella, an Italian Renaissance poetess who lived in Tuscany in the 13th century.Police equipment

“A few days ago it was sent to an auction house where it was to be auctioned.”

Painted in 1910, the masterpiece features Okuń’s wife, Zofia Okuniowa, as Compiuta Donzella, an Italian Renaissance poetess who lived in Tuscany in the 13th century.

It was exhibited twice at the Society for the Encouragement of Fine Arts in 1911 and in 1931 after it was purchased by Andrzej Rotwand, a collector from Warsaw who later donated it to the Zachęta collection.

Investigations were underway to establish how the person who auctioned it off had come into its possession.Police equipment

The work has now been secured by staff at the National Museum in Warsaw.

Szumiata said: “He was taken there under police escort, where he will be stored in the appropriate conditions and deposited until the end of the investigation.”

He added that investigations are currently underway to establish how the person who auctioned it off came into possession.