artist Shmuel Nissenbaum

Museum loses 'Korczak and His Children’ sculpture

Ghetto Fighters’ Museum loses Shmuel Nissenbaum’s sculpture entitled ‘Korzcak and His Children’, museum has not provided significant response

Twenty-five years have lapsed since artist Shmuel Nissenbaum transferred his sculpture entitled ‘Korczak and His Children’ to the Ghetto Fighters’ Museum on loan and by chance he learned that the museum lost it. The 84-year-old artist created his 60 by 80 cm (24 by 32 inch) plaster and platinum sculpture as an emotional gesture and not just an artistic one to Janusz Korczak, saver of Jewish children.


“I met Korczak when I was 10-years-old, I was a wild child with no parents, nothing,” said Nissenbaum to Ynet. “The Jewish committee in Warsaw transferred me to Korczak’s custody while sick with pneumonia and ringworm and other diseases and he devotedly treated me.


"I was with him for more than half a year and I obviously have warm feelings for the man who saved me from murder especially in a period when children dropped like flies,” he added.


The fact that the Ghetto Fighters’ Museum lost the statue that became a symbol of Korczak’s activities, occurred accidentally and not by means of a notification from the museum.


Nissenbaum turned to the museum and explained that he decided to transfer the statue to its permanent home at “Beit LeHiyot” in Holon, an establishment for Holocaust survivors in the city. The Ghetto Fighters’ Museum said in a number of reactions that the museum has searched for the statue but, “to no avail”.


Two months ago the artist turned to Attorney Gaby Lasky who wrote a letter to the museum’s director Simcha Stein stating that “in a detailed letter from November 26th 2007 the museum curator notified my client that fervent searches are being conducted for the statue lost during the Korczak exhibit.”


She added that “the loss is a clear copyright violation and a violation of my client’s ethical rights and this is in addition to the economic and emotional damage caused by the loss.”


 Nissenbaum and his sculpture 25 years ago


The attorney said that she hopes the museum will know how to find a solution to this problem, in a “respectful manner and will offer my client a fitting monetary compensation.”However, two months have passed and until a few days ago the museum has not yet responded.


The attorney’s office sent a new letter in which they determined that “because the Ghetto Fighters’ Museum has been aware for eight months that the statue is lost and nothing has been done in order to find it or to compensate my client for violating his rights, I hereby notify that if I do not receive a sufficient answer within ten days of this letter’s receipt, my client will turn to the authorities in order to defend his legal rights.”


Attorney Lasky told Ynet that “it is difficult to think that we have to turn to the authorities but it doesn’t seem likely that statues are simply lost and that a respectable organization as such lost such a significant artistic creation.”


Simcha Stein, the museum director reacted and told Ynet that “there were many changes done at the museum and the statue was placed in the Korczak exhibit in an old building that we renovated. I do not deny that the statue is lost, we are still looking for it and I hope that we will find it very soon.”


פרסום ראשון: 06.11.08, 09:04
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