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The Princes Czartoryski Museum re-opened

The Princes Czartoryski Museum re-opened

The Lady with an Ermine by Leonardo da Vinci or the Landscape with the Good Samaritan by Rembrandt van Rijn will again be displayed at Pijarska Street in Krakow. The most valuable Polish art collection will once again appear in the renovated Palace. The Princes Czartoryski Museum, a branch of the National Museum in Krakow, will be inviting visitors from December 20, 2019.
- The Czartoryski collection is more than just Leonardo and Rembrandt. It includes the act of Prussian homage, the chronicle by Jan Długosz - these are the things that define our history and identity. The opening of the Princes Czartoryski Museum will therefore be a unique event, not only for art enthusiasts. After several years of intensive and systematic work of the NMK team, we give you a complete museum: accessible, modern, very open, yet referring to the tradition of the oldest museum collection in Poland - says dr hab. Andrzej Betlej, prof. at the Jagiellonian University, Head of the National Museum in Krakow.

The Princes Czartoryski Museum has been closed for almost ten years, which is why its re-opening is one of this year's major cultural events. The museum has not only undergone extensive renovation, but also gained additional exhibition space - from now on, works of art will be displayed on two floors of the Palace and in its outbuildings. Apart from the most famous objects from the Czartoryski collection, the exhibition also includes those less frequently displayed, yet unique works of art.

- What makes the Czartoryski Museum stand out is the collection's historical nature, boasting of many unique works of art: paintings, medieval enamels, sculptures in ivory, amber and coral, ceramics, Venetian glassware and Augsburg silverware, Persian carpets, fabrics, Oriental and Polish military items, works of unusual beauty and both artistic and historical value - says Katarzyna Płonka-Bałus, curator of the Princes Czartoryski Museum.

The complicated fate of the Collection

In 1801, Princess Izabela Czartoryska née Flemming created a collection of national treasures. The resources she collected were presented in Puławy, in two park pavilions: The Temple of the Sybil, and since 1809 also in the Gothic House. It was in the Gothic House where Leonardo da Vinci's Lady with an Ermine and Rembrandt van Rijn's Landscape with the Good Samaritan were displayed. During that time, one of the pearls in the Czartoryski collection was the Portrait of a Young Man by Rafael Santi (lost during World War II).

However, the museum did not survive the November Uprising, and in 1831 - following Prince Adam Jerzy's emigration - the collection was transported to Paris. It only made its way back to Poland in 1876, in connection with the scheduled opening of the museum in Krakow. World War II brought about significant losses to the Collection. After the war, the museum was taken over by the National Museum in Krakow, and in 1991 fell under the management of the Princes Czartoryski Foundation. On December 29, 2016, thanks to the purchase by the Polish government, the Czartoryski resources became an integral part of the National Museum in Krakow.

- For over two hundred years now, the crumbs of the past gathered here have been telling a multi-threaded story of Polish and European art, culture and history. And although it sounds differently for every generation, it does not go away, instead determining the universal character of the Krakow's Princes Czartoryski Museum - adds Katarzyna Płonka-Bałus.


 (based on texts by Katarzyna Płonka-Bałus, Mateusz Chramec, Natalia Koziara, the Princes Czartoryski Museum)