Poland buys private art collection that includes a da Vinci

AP News
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Posted: Dec 29, 2016 3:16 PM
Poland buys private art collection that includes a da Vinci

WARSAW, Poland (AP) — Poland's Culture Ministry finalized a deal Thursday to buy a precious private art collection that includes a painting by Leonardo da Vinci, acting to ensure that the collection will remain part of Poland's patrimony for further generations.

The collection includes some 86,000 objects, among them da Vinci's "Lady with an Ermine," Rembrandt's "Landscape with the Good Samaritan" and works by Renoir.

Some 250,000 manuscripts and other library items also are part of the collection, which has been housed in the private Czartoryski Museum in the southern Polish city of Krakow.

The purchase comes as the nationalist ruling Law and Justice party strives to build national pride with a focus on positive aspects of Poland's heritage.

Piotr Glinski, the culture minister and deputy prime minister, signed an agreement with Adam Karol Czartoryski, the descendent of an aristocratic family that gathered and preserved the collection over the past two centuries.

The state treasury paid 100 million euros ($105 million), which Glinski acknowledged is a fraction of its value, making it to a large extent a donation to the country.

The da Vinci painting is only one of four female portraits by the Italian Renaissance master.