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Medieval crucifix found in Austrian dumpster

By RobotGod     Aug 16, 2007 in World
An 800-year-old, gold-plated crucifix, made of copper and enamel, that went missing after being seized by the Nazis was found in a dumpster in Austria. Made in Limoges, France, it was part of a Polish art collection brought to Austria during Nazi rule.
Yahoo reports that it was discovered in 2004 in the winter resort of Zell am See by a woman combing through a dumpster that was full of discarded possessions of a neighbor who had just died.
"The lady had a soft spot for old crockery and was rummaging for plates when she found the crucifix," said Holzberger. "She asked the deceased's family, and they said she could have it."
The woman showed the crucifix to a friens sometime last month. The friend had a good eye and took it to a museum, feeling that it might be special.
As World War II approached, the owners hid it and many other treasures inside the basement walls of a house in Warsaw.
The treasures were discovered by the Nazis in 1941, then brought to the Polish National Museum and later made their way to a castle in the Austrian village of Bruck an der Grossglocknerstrasse, which is near Zell am See.
"We lost track of what happened then -- we don't know how the crucifix ended up in Zell am See," Holzberger said.
It could be worth an estimated 400,000 euros or $539,000 at auction. The heirs of the former art collectors have been contacted.
It is not often these days that treasure which the Nazis plundered turns up whole and intact. When people are throwing things away, it always pays to have a look. In this case, one woman's trash was another's treasure.
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