Founded National Museum in Warsaw

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The National Museum in Warsaw (Polish: Muzeum Narodowe w Warszawie), Poland, is a national institution of culture, one of the largest museums in Poland and the largest in Warsaw. It comprises a rich collection of ancient art (Egyptian, Greek, Roman), counting about 11,000 pieces, an extensive gallery of Polish painting since the 16th century and a collection of foreign painting (Italian, French, Flemish, Dutch, German and Russian) including some paintings from Adolf Hitler's private collection, ceded to the Museum by the American authorities in post-war Germany. The museum is also home to numismatic collections, a gallery of applied arts and a department of oriental art, with the largest collection of Chinese art in Poland, comprising some 5,000 objects.

The Museum boasts the Faras Gallery with Europe's largest collection of Nubian Christian art and the Gallery of Medieval Art with artefacts from all regions historically associated with Poland, supplemented by selected works created in other regions of Europe.

The National Museum in Warsaw was established on 20 May 1862, as the "Museum of Fine Arts, Warsaw", and in 1916 renamed "National Museum, Warsaw" (with the inclusion of collections from museums and cultural institutions such as the Society of Care for Relics of the Past, the Museum of Antiquity at Warsaw University, the Museum of the Society for Encouragement of the Fine Arts, and the Museum of Industry and Agriculture).

The collection, on Jerusalem Avenue, is housed in a building designed by Tadeusz Tolwiński, developed between 1927 and 1938 (earlier the museum had been located at ulica Podwale 15). In 1932 an exhibition of decorative art opened in the two earlier erected wings of the building. The new building was inaugurated on 18 June 1938. The purpose-built modernistic edifice, was situated on the edge of Na Książęcem Park constructed between 1776-1779 for Prince Kazimierz Poniatowski. From 1935 the museum director was Stanisław Lorentz, who directed an effort to save the most valuable works of art during World War II.

During the invasion of Poland the building was damaged and after the Siege of Warsaw the collection was looted by the Gestapo led by Nazi historian Dagobert Frey, who had already prepared a meticulous list of the most valuable artwork on official visits from Germany in 1937. The Gestapo headquarters presented the Rembrandt as gift to Hans Frank in occupied Kraków and packed everything else to be shipped to Berlin. After the war the Polish Government, under the supervision of Professor Lorentz, retrieved many of the works seized by the Germans. More than 5,000 artefacts are still missing. Many works of art of, at that time unknown or of uncertain provenance (e.g. originating from Nazi German art repositories in Polish Recovered Territories in Kamenz, Karthaus, Liebenthal and Rohnstock among others) were nationalized by the communist authorities using subsequent decrees and acts from 1945, 1946 and 1958 and were included in the museum collection as so-called abandoned property. At present, the collection of the National Museum in Warsaw includes over 780,000 items displayed in many permanent galleries, including the Professor Kazimierz Michałowski Faras Gallery and galleries given over to ancient art, medieval art, painting, goldsmithing, decorative art and oriental art, as well as many temporary exhibitions.

In 2008 the "Polish Archaeological Mission "Tyritake" of National Museum in Warsaw" commenced works at Tyritake, Crimea. It is headed by Alfred Twardecki curator of the Ancient Art Gallery. Since the 2011-2012 renovation, the museum is also considered as one of the most modern in Europe with a computer-led LED lighting allowing to enhance unique qualities of every painting and exhibit.


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    Name Born / Since / At Died Languages
    1Jan BiałostockiJan Białostocki14.08.192125.12.1988de, pl, ru
    2Michał WalickiMichał Walicki08.08.190422.08.1966en, pl
    3Stanisław LorentzStanisław Lorentz28.04.189915.03.1991de, en, pl
    4Bronisław GembarzewskiBronisław Gembarzewski30.05.187211.12.1941pl, ru
    5Cyprian LachnickiCyprian Lachnicki00.00.182427.12.1906pl, ru