Lost medieval manuscript returned to the Library

On the 4th September 2015 the ceremony concerning the handing over medieval parchment codex "Breviarium Wratislaviense" from 1415 by the Minister of Culture and National Heritage - prof. Magorzatę Omilanowska - to the Director of the University Library - Grażyna Piotrowicz took place. That medieval manuscript originates from the collections of former City Library in Wroclaw (call number M1139) and was lost during the Second World War. Ministry of Culture and National Heritage actively supported the Wroclaw University and the Wroclaw University Library in efforts to reclaim the lost item.
In July 2009 the manuscript appeared as an offer in the antique shop Rara Avis in Krakow, where in October was scheduled to be put up for auction. At the request of the Wroclaw University Library, which identified it as a codex from the former City Library, breviary was withdrawn from the auction catalog. Legal dispute regarding ownership of the item has started. In that situation, antique shop returned manuscript to its private owner and further negotiations were conducted between Wroclaw University Library and her attorney. Efforts to recover item were abandoned when the Library was put the proposal to purchase its wartime loss for the sum of 160 000 PLN. Such a solution was not to be accepted by the Library.
The case of recovering of the manuscript returned in 2014, when the Director of the Wroclaw University Library has asked for the assistance of the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage, and specifically to Elizabeth Rogowska - Head of the Department for War Loss in the MoCaNH, who together with the Director Piotrowicz participated in the debate on the restitution of cultural property, held in the Wroclaw’s Willy Brandt Centre for German and European Studies. The library received effective legal and organizational support from the MoCaNH and the final efforts turned out to be successful, because precious manuscript has been recovered.

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