Rola Kościoła polskiego w odzyskaniu skarbów wawelskich
The role of the Polish Church in regaining the Wawel treasure
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The paper discusses the backstage of the negotiations concerning the return to Poland of the priceless collection of the so-called the Wawel treasure, which had survived the wartime storm being deposited in Canada. The negotiations were, in its major part, carried out by the Polish Church. The authorities of the Polish People’s Republic, beginning with 1945, constantly pressed the Canadian government and demanded that the deposit should be returned. On the other hand, the guardians of the treasure were of the opinion that it would not be safe in Poland – at that time remaining a satellite state to the Soviet Union, and „Russians once again can behave like in 1795, when they took away the tapestries and other objects of value from the Wawel”. In the end, the valuable deposit (136 tapestries and other museum exhibits packed into 24 boxes) returned to Poland on 16 January 1961. That would not have been possible had it not been for intensive negotiations lasting a few years prior to that, which were conducted by the Primate of Poland, Cardinal Stefan Wyszyński. With the authority of the Church, the Cardinal supported the efforts to have the treasure returned to the nation who was its righteous owner. The second part of the publication presents some information relating to the subject matter in question, which was found in the Western media.
- Krzywda-Polkowski Józef Aleksander. 2001. Z Wawelu do Kanady. Wspomnienia. Płock: Novum.
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