A diptych of “dark origin” appeared in the funds of the Museum of Pontevedra, as defined yesterday by the vice president of the Deputation of Pontevedra, César Mosquera, during the presentation of that diptych, made up of a “painful” and an “ecce homo” looted in Poland during World War II by the Nazis. The works were acquired by the museum with the pieces from the Fernández López collection and were in the reserve room of the Pontevedra facilities. The two pieces have been attributed to the Dutch painter Dieric Bouts, principal representative of the School of Lovaina, and they are “a good example” of a “typology of success” created by this artist. Now they will be returned “with pride and for historical reparation.” “We are going to return them with great pleasure,” remarked the vice president of the provincial institution, but it will be after they are exhibited in the museum after Christmas. Thus the people of Pontevedra will be able to say goodbye to him “with all the honors.
The discovery came about thanks to the identification by the division of tracing looted goods of the Ministry of Culture of Poland. The Department of Cultural Heritage of the ministry of the eastern country to be interested in the diptych. According to the documentation provided by both paintings, they belonged to the Princess Czartoryski Collection in Gołuchiow, stolen by the Germans during World War II. They left the Polish capital, Warsaw, in 1944, to be located again in Madrid in the art trade in 1973.
From there, explained the director of the Museum, Xosé Manuel Rey, the institution got down to work to discover how the works got to the museum. Thus, it was learned that since 1994 they have been the property of this artistic center after the purchase of the collection of the collector José Fernández López, consisting of up to 313 paintings by authors and chronologies of various kinds. Two possible shops are put into focus for this collector to buy the diptych, although it is unknown how it actually came to him: the Sala Parés in Barcelona and the Galería El Cisne in Madrid, both of which he was a “regular customer”. the museum manager explained.
To be more sure that it is about the looted works, he contacted Ana María Diéguez Rodríguez, specialist in Flemish painting and director of the Moll Institute, a reference for the investigation of this type of painting, which he noted as a “preliminary impression”, the Deputation indicates in a note that it is about the works plundered in the last century. “The formal similarity with the photos is evident,” said Rey, who pointed out that the frame of the paintings is also “very characteristic” and they coincide with the bibliographic references that exist on these works, Efe collects. In the absence of the expert report on this diptych by the expert, “there is no doubt” that they are the same paintings that the Polish Government demands.
Your rating around 23,000 euros each, when making an estimate based on the price paid for the entire Fernández López collection, about 600 million pesetas. They were part of the permanent exhibitions of the central buildings of the Museum, now closed, so they were in reserve. “They are two unique works,” explained the director, so that, if they were not returned to the Poles, they would have been restored and exhibited in the future.