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Da Vinci portrait comes back to Germany for first time since WWII

August 25, 2011

One of Leonardo da Vinci's portraits recently went on display in Germany for the first time since the Second World War. The painting, Lady with an Ermine, is one of only four portraits that the Renaissance artist ever painted of women - including the Mona Lisa. The AFP reports that the portrait was stolen from its Polish owner during the war, but was later returned.

Prince Adam Karol Czartoryski is the current owner of the painting, which came into his family's possession around the year 1800. He appealed to the Polish culture ministry to allow it to travel to Madrid before stopping in Berlin and then going on to London. Spiegel Online reports that the portrait will be on display at the Bode Museum in Berlin until October 31, when it will be moved to London's National Gallery to be a part of a special da Vinci exhibition.

Art enthusiasts can use international phone cards to place calls to Germany to talk to their friends about the exhibit, the painting, and the significance of the loan from Czartoryski Museum in Krakow, Poland. German news sources are calling the gesture one of reconciliation between the two nations, according to the AFP.

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