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Da Vinci portrait looted by Nazi returns to Berlin

The Local · 24 Aug 2011, 16:43

Published: 24 Aug 2011 16:43 GMT+02:00

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The 15th century portrait of a young woman holding a white ermine - otherwise known as a stoat or short-tailed weasel - has pride of place in a major exhibition of Renaissance art to open Thursday at Berlin's Bode Museum.

Along with the Mona Lisa, the work is one of just four paintings of women by the famed Italian Renaissance master.

Stolen by Hitler's troops during World War II, the masterpiece was later returned to Poland.

The Culture Ministry in Warsaw was initially hostile to the idea of the painting on wood leaving the country, fearing it could be damaged.

But a personal appeal by its owner, Polish aristocrat Prince Adam Karol Czartoryski, convinced the ministry to allow it to go on display in Madrid earlier this year, then Berlin and later London.

The German press called the loan a gesture of "reconciliation" between Poland and Germany.

Around 1800, the Czartoryski family acquired the 54x39 centimetre (21.25x15

inch) portrait painted by da Vinci between 1488 and 1490.

Story continues below…

The work is believed to depict Cecilia Gallerani, the mistress of an Italian nobleman, Ludovico Sforza, the Duke of Milan and the son of one of da Vinci's patrons.


The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

19:19 August 24, 2011 by sebastian2010
Comment removed by The Local for breach of our terms.
20:29 August 24, 2011 by lordkorner
Sebastian,Sebastian,lie down on the couch there and tell me all about it......
22:00 August 24, 2011 by sebastian2010
I belive i just did
11:21 August 25, 2011 by ECSNatale
Art should be shared, especially great art. I'm no fan of Poland's government, but glad that the approval was given to allow the painting to be seen abroad.
18:21 August 25, 2011 by lordkorner
Hey Sebastian here is another story for you only its not the local but that rather more famous news corp the BBC .Ikea founder Ingvar Kamprad's Nazi ties 'went deeper'
23:19 August 26, 2011 by Englishted
When will Poland give back the land it stole from Germany in 1945 ?

This should start a few comments.
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