One of Europe’s most important private art holdings appears to be staying put in Poland.
The Polish government, led by the right-wing “Law and Justice” party, announced their plans to purchase the famous Czartoryski family collection two weeks ago. In order to enable the purchase by the state, the foundation had to change its statute, as the collection was otherwise “nontransferable and indivisible.” All of the foundation’s board members resigned in protest, the New York Times reports, when they were excluded from the talks regarding the purchase agreement.
Despite this roadblock, on Thursday, December 29, the government and the foundation finally reached an agreement.
Bloomberg reports that Poland only paid $105 million for the entire collection, which is valued at more than $2 billion. The Polish minister of culture Piotr Glinski described the deal as a “donation” by the family to the state.
Foundation representative Adam Karol Czartoryski reiterated the sentiment at a press conference in Warsaw on Thursday, according to Bloomberg, saying that the transaction was in accordance with the family’s intent to preserve Polish heritage. “I felt like making a donation and that’s my choice,” he said.
The main change brought about by the government’s acquisition is that the pieces cannot leave the country.