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12 April 2014

Polish artwork returned from the United States

The history of this collection, 75 pieces of artwork by Hanna Gordzialkowski-Weynerowski, a participant in the Warsaw Uprising who emigrated to the United States after the war, is a further example of fruitful cooperation between the US and Poland in the repatriation of cultural works. The paintings have been transferred to the Polish Museum in Rapperswil, Switzerland.

"Our cultural works, much like our Nation, experienced great hardship throughout history, which is why every artwork reclaimed by Poland brings immeasurable joy. I wish to congratulate our friends from the FBI and thank them for their determination" remarked the Ambassador of Poland to the US in regards to the successful joint efforts of Poland's Ministry of Culture and National Heritage and the Federal Bureau of Investigation in reclaiming this art collection.

 

Hanna Gordzialkowska-Weynerowska (born 1918) graduated with honors from the Warsaw Academy of Fine Arts in 1939. During World War II she served in the Home Army, operating under the pseudonym Kali. Upon completing clandestine officer's school, she joined a sabotage operations unit, which destroyed bridges, tunnels and roads.

 

She took part in the Warsaw Uprising of 1944, and upon its capitulation she was sent to a labor camp in Germany. When the Red Army entered Germany she fled Westward, in order to reach the American front lines.

 

After the war she enrolled in the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Brussels. She would sign her artwork using her wartime pseudonym Kali. Her works were exhibited in France, Luxembourg, Switzerland, Sweden, Great Britain and Canada among other places. From 1953 she resided permanently in San Francisco, USA.

 

Hanna Gordzialkowska-Weynerowska died in 1998. In her testament she wrote, that upon her passing her artworks should be transferred to the Polish Museum in Rapperswil. According to the testament recorded in June 1988, 86 of her paintings were to be transferred to the museum. However all traces of the works were lost, and they never found their way to the museum, until now.

© 2012 Ministry of Foreign Affairs