Poland says rare book Macron gave Pope was not looted during Second World War

Poland Says Rare Book Macron Gave Pope Was Not Looted During Second World War Poland Says Rare Book Macron Gave Pope Was Not Looted During Second World War
Emmanuel Macron and his wife Brigitte leave the Vatican, © AP/Press Association Images
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By Associated Press Reporters

Poland’s culture minister has rejected speculation that a rare book given to Pope Francis earlier this week by French President Emmanuel Macron might have been looted from Poland during the Second World War.

Piotr Glinski said the book “is not a Polish war loss” and that “contrary to the claims of some media … this work was not stolen from Poland”.

Concerns had risen in Poland after a photo was published of a stamp in the old book from a library in Lviv, a city that is now part of Ukraine but was the Polish city of Lwow until the Second World War.

The volume is the first French edition of German philosopher Immanuel Kant’s work On Eternal Peace, dating from 1796.

Poland saw much of its cultural patrimony destroyed or looted during the country’s wartime occupation by Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union, and about 500,000 artefacts remain missing.

The country has been making efforts to recover as much as possible. The Culture Ministry has a Division for Looted Art that keeps a database of missing objects and scours foreign collections and auctions.

When they locate a looted Polish painting, book or other object, they inform law enforcement officials of the country it was found in.

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