Tricity: artworks lost during the war shown in murals

The action was organised to show how many works have not yet been recovered. Among them are the ‘Arabian Stallion’ and the ‘Dog and Bird Fight’. The artworks are presented in an unusual form, at one time imitating an advertisement, at another time a milk carton label. A total of thirteen works on murals can be seen in Gdańsk Wrzeszcz and Gdynia. The project was carried out by the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage in cooperation with the Traffic Design Association.

The works of art were stolen during World War II from Gdansk’s collections. Both public, private and church collections. The looting was enormous. More than half a million artefacts worth tens of billions of dollars at the time went missing. One of the ministry’s tasks is to find these works and bring them back to the country.

Every action of this kind – showing the works to a wider audience, spreading knowledge about them thanks to, among other things, the development of the Internet and new technologies – contributes to finding more cultural property and helps us in our search,” says Deputy Minister of Culture Marta Cienkowska.

The murals on the wall of the building at 16 Bohaterów Getta Warszawskiego Street in Gdańsk Wrzeszcz feature three paintings: ‘Portrait of the wife of Johann C. Fichtel” by Andreas Stech, “Little Soldier” by Friedrich Eduard Meyerheim and “Arabian Stallion” by Carl Steffeck.

A long line of murals was placed on the pillars of the Peace Junction in Gdynia. There are murals depicting images of 12 paintings. Included are two works presented in Gdańsk Wrzeszcz (‘Little Soldier’ and ‘Arabian Stallion’), in addition to images of paintings such as: “Beneath the Equator/Mor” by Eduard Hildebrandt, “Female Nude” by François Boucher, “In reverie” by Ernest-Ane Duez, “Dog and bird fight” by Daniel Schultz, “Portrait of Johann Schwarzwaldt” by Hans Holbein the Younger, “Man at Breakfast” by Carl Hofer, “Little Housekeeper” by Friedrich Eduard Meyerheim, “Portrait of an Old Woman” by Jacob van Loo, “Boar” by Wenceslaus Hollar and “Portrait of the Painter Meyerheim” by Franz Krüger.

The murals were prepared in an attractive form. The works of art were placed in such a way as to resemble the reality of contemporary digital media. ‘Little soldier’ was depicted as a milk carton label with the slogan ‘missing’ at the top. This is a reference to the practice in the USA, where images of missing children were often placed on milk cartons.

In another instance, ‘Portrait of an old woman’ appears as a sequence of windows on a computer screen, where the source file with the image is inaccessible (it has been ‘deleted’ from the disk). “Little Housekeeper”, on the other hand, resembles an advertisement for a missing cat, the lower part of which is made up of fragments prepared to be detached with a telephone number.

The murals can be viewed until the end of September 2024.

source: MKiDN

photos: Traffic Design

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