Record low water levels in Warsaw's Vistula River due in part to heat waves and droughts last month have made accessible looted valuable 17th century marble and alabaster decorative structures from the riverbed. Police, archaeologists, and divers, came together to recover the precious large scale, over 350-year-old national treasures from the Vistula River.
As reported by Art Daily, archaeologists have known for quite some time that the looted treasures were located in a Warsaw area riverbed except for the exact location. A small number of stolen stone pieces from the Vistula riverbed were previously recovered by archaeologists within a three year period of searching for the sunken art treasures. Their discoveries have only become more magnificent with these latest findings.
According to Marek Wrede, a historian at the Royal Castle, "[t]hese elements were stolen from Warsaw's royal residences and palaces[,]" and are considered to be a "precious find" for Poland.
The exquisite decorative treasures, including a fountain, marble steps, pieces of archways and columns, and vases, were looted from Warsaw by the Swedes who took over the nation in the mid-17th century and removed heavy loads of national treasures across the country via barges that sank en route down the river to the Baltic Sea. It is believed that the recently recovered pieces originated from the Royal Castle as well as from a royal country residence, the Kazimierz Palace.
It was not until around 1906 when it had become discovered where the treasures might be by sand barge operators who were able to recover only some of the artistic objects.
Archaeologists have been busily cleaning up the recently recovered pieces, which are observed to be "very well preserved" considering the 350 years buried in the riverbed.
The Art Daily reports that it has not been decided yet as to when and where the recently recovered artifacts will be on public display.