Patron of the arts and WWII resistance veteran Ciechanowiecki dies
PR dla Zagranicy
The eminent Polish art historian, antique dealer and philanthropist Andrzej Ciechanowiecki has died in London at the age of ninety-one.
Andrzej Ciechanowiecki. Photo: screenshot/youtube
Having left Poland in 1958, he lived in Germany, Britain, the United States and Portugal, eventually settling, in 1961, in London.
He donated over 3000 items from his collection – furniture, paintings, sculptures and jewels – to the Royal Castle in Warsaw. In 1998 he received the Order of the White Eagle, the highest Polish state distinction.
Born in 1924 in Warsaw, nobleman Andrzej Ciechanowiecki was the son of a diplomat. During the Nazi occupation, he attended a clandestine school and then enrolled at a clandestine university to study the history of art.
He fought in the ranks of underground Home Army (AK) during the doomed Warsaw Rising of 1944.
Arrested in 1950, he was sentenced to ten years in prison in 1952 for allegedly helping Anglo-Saxon and Vatican spies. After his release in March 1956, he continued his studies and worked at the Wawel Castle in Kraków and the Castle Museum in Lańcut, before leaving Poland.
While in the West, he organized exhibitions, owned prestigious galleries, worked as an art dealer, lectured on the history of Polish culture, published extensively in scholarly magazines, and supported Polish charities.
In 1977, after a lapse of 19 years, Andrzej Ciechanowiecki, started to visit Poland, working closely with art historians and various institutions, notably the Royal Castle in Warsaw. (mk/nh/rk)