During the renovation of a private apartment in Bydgoszcz, northern Poland, the renovation team stole the paintings and later sold them. When the stolen items were finally traced, it was discovered that they were valuable works by Leon Wyczółkowski, which for decades were thought to have been lost or destroyed.
“The findings of the investigation show that the thieves were not fully aware of the artistic and cultural value of these works”, said Agnieszka Adamska-Okońska, spokeswoman for the District Prosecutor's Office in Bydgoszcz.
The pieces have been recovered, and are now stored in the District Museum in Bydgoszcz.
The thieves will be held accountable by the court for the theft. There is also another thread to this case which is to be investigated, namely how these works of art ended up in a private apartment.
Leon Jan Wyczółkowski was one of the leading painters of the Young Poland movement, as well as the principal representative of Polish Realism in art of the Interbellum in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.