MANHATTAN (CN) – The United States has returned to Poland two paintings by Polish Impressionist Julian Falat that Nazis looted from the Polish National Museum during World War II. Falat (1853-1929) was one of Poland’s foremost landscape painters and Impressionists.
A museum in Bielsko-Biala, Poland, is dedicated to Falat’s works. More of his works are displayed in his villa in Bystra Slaska, which also is maintained as a museum.
The Nazis looted the Polish National Museum in August 1944. Many of the stolen artworks have not been recovered. When the two artworks, “Off to the Hunt” and “The Hunt” were listed for sale at two New York auction houses in 2006, the government of Poland asked the United States to intervene.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office filed a civil forfeiture complaint in 2010 and on Aug. 3 this year a federal judge entered judgment forfeiting the paintings to the United States. They were returned to Polish President Bronislaw Komorowski on Thursday at a ceremony at the Polish Consulate in New York City.