The National Museum in Krakow was established by a resolution of the Krakow City Council on 7 October 1879, as the first national museum institution at a time when the Polish people were deprived of their own statehood and country, which had been appropriated by the partitioning powers. The museum consists of several branches. Most of them hold permanent exhibitions. Nearly all its buildings also have their own sections of the Collections Department, accessible for research. Their resources have grown considerably and now stand at about 780,000 items . Today the National Museum in Krakow holds one of the most significant collections of fifteenth- and sixteenth-century Polish painting and sculpture, a fine assembly of artworks from the Young Poland period, and an extensive collection of prints, decorative art objects, textiles and militaria. Its collections of numismatics and Far Eastern art are unique on a global scale. If we add to that the world-famous Czartoryski Collection of crafts, militaria, prints and paintings, including Poland’s most famous painting, Lady with an Ermine by Leonardo da Vinci, and also the Landscape with the Good Samaritan by Rembrandt, it becomes clear that the museum has in its care resources comprising works of the highest class and value.
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