COLUMBUS (WCMH) — A painting believed to have been looted by Nazi soldiers in Poland during World War II has been returned to the Polish government.
“Portrait of a Young Man” by Polish painter Krzysztof Lubieniecki was returned to officials with the Government of Poland, according to the FBI.
According to the FBI, the painting is purported to have been taken by the Nazis along with other artwork from the National Museum in Poland in October 1944.
The painting was taken to Austria where it was discovered by U.S. servicemen and taken home by a soldier. Years after that soldier’s death, the painting was sold to innocent purchasers in Columbus, where it remained for many years.
Recently, a relative of the soldier who was conducting family genealogy research saw photos of the painting and found that it was taken from the National Museum. The Polish government was contacted and the possessors agreed to return the painting to Poland.
During a brief repatriation ceremony in the FBI’s Columbus Resident Agency, the painting was turned over to officials with the Polish Ministry of Cultural and National Heritage. The Ministry’s Division for Looted Art works to gather information on cultural property lost as a result of World War II. The agency also searches for and recovers this lost cultural property when it is located in Poland and abroad.
The painting, entitled “Portrait of a Young Man”, was created around1728 by Polish artist Krzysztof Lubieniecki (1659-1729). Lubieniecki was a Polish Baroque painter and engraver active in Amsterdam during the Dutch Golden Age.