Minister of Culture and National Heritage prof. Piotr Gliński meets German Culture Minister Claudia Roth. At a press conference, the deputy prime minister informed that the talks lasted one hour and concerned, among other things, the restitution of Polish art stolen by Germany during World War II. Many of them – as Gliński emphasizes – are still in the territory of the German state.
Return of stolen cultural goods
Gliński informed that the discussion focused on the issue of cultural property restitution.
I met with the Minister of Culture of the Federal Republic of Germany who lives in Poland at the request of the Minister of Germany. The conversation concerned several important matters in mutual relations. First of all, it focuses on the issue of restitution of cultural property
said the deputy prime minister.
During World War II, Poland lost over 500,000 people. mobile cultural objects. Most of them were items looted by the German occupiers. Many of them are still in Germany. Currently, we are carrying out 20 refund proceedings in Germany. Not everything is easy and not everything has a happy ending
The deputy prime minister informed that he also discussed the issue of reparations with the German minister.
The second topic we discussed was the issue of reparations for Poland from Germany for the devastation of World War II. The difference in positions between our governments is diametrical. In both cases, the Minister of Culture was of the opinion that his ministry was not the main person who carried out these cases and the competence regarding restitution was in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and the competence regarding war reparations was also in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
said the deputy prime minister.
The talks have not been easy, but the good news is that these are the first bilateral talks between Polish and German culture ministers in about 10 years.
After this hour-long conversation, we agreed to continue the discussion because there were so many issues that were the responsibility of both parties to resolve
Monument commemorating Polish victims
Another topic raised by the ministers was the commemoration of Polish victims. Gliński reminded that the discussion on this matter has been going on for … 20 years.
The agenda for the meeting included issues such as the Monument to the Polish Victims in Berlin. For 20 years there have been discussions about building a site that would commemorate Poland’s victims of World War II. Because there is no such warning in Berlin. Unfortunately, there is still no conclusion regarding this project. And recently the current German government changed the concept. This worries us, as the concept is currently on its way to something like the Polish-German Meetinghouse. We started and that was the intention, also confirmed by the Bundestag resolution of the commemoration of Polish victims of World War II. Currently, the German side is changing this concept, but I hope there will be an opportunity at the next meeting to get an explanation of why it looks like this.
We also mentioned a few other issues, but the hour-long conversation time didn’t allow us to elaborate on them
he commented at the end.
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