Police recover stolen Auschwitz sign

"We have arrested five men aged from 20 to 39 in the north of Poland. The recovered sign has been cut up into three pieces," Dariusz Nowak, spokesman for the police in southern Krakow, said.

"They were picked up shortly before midnight and the sign was found in a house," he added without giving further details.

The infamous metal sign five metres long which hung over the entrance to the Auschwitz death camp, now a museum, was stolen at dawn on Friday sparking a chorus of outrage from world leaders, Jewish groups and Holocaust survivors.

Learning of the sign's recovery, Pawel Sawicki, a spokesman for Auschwitz museum, told AFP: "It's an enormous relief. We are extremely grateful to the police who have done fantastic work."

He added: "This symbol, probably one of the most important of the past century, can be put back in its place.

"We're very impatient to see what condition the sign is in. We have been told it's been cut up into pieces. Our curators will get it restored so that it can be put up again as quickly as possible."

Auschwitz museum is preparing to celebrate the 65th anniversary of Auschwitz-Birkenau's liberation by the Red Army on January 27.

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