Another artefact stolen during WWII returns to Poland

PAP 29 December 2018

The 17th-century diary of Melchior Lucas, stolen during the Second World War, has returned to Poland and has been handed over to the Wrocław University Library.

Before the war, the diary was kept at the municipal library in Wrocław (southwestern Poland) together with 230 other objects. For fear of bombardment, on Sept. 16, 1943, a total of 100 wooden boxes full of the most precious manuscripts were moved to the Ramfeld Palace in today's locality of Ramułowice. From that moment, the fate of the artefact remained unknown until April 2018, when it was put up for sale at an auction house in Germany.

Having initially verified the object, the Polish Culture Ministry asked the owner of the auction house to put the auction on hold. Poland sent all necessary documents proving that Lucas' diary belonged to a Polish collection.

According to Deputy Culture Minister Magdalena Gawin, the diary "is an example of European culture at its finest and a marvellous piece of art."

Melchior Lucas, the diary's owner, lived in Wrocław and held a high office in Silesia's administration. The diary's pages are covered with autographs of important historical figures for the history of the city and the entire region.

Over recent years, many artefacts from the Polish collection stolen during WWII have returned to Poland.

Nearly 63,000 cultural artefacts looted in Poland during World War Two are still missing. Poland has been gathering data on stolen and lost artwork since the early 1990s. The Culture Ministry has a special Division for Looted Art.
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