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Polish Police Recover Auschwitz Sign

The replacement sign at the entrance to Auschwitz

The replacement sign at the entrance to Auschwitz

Polish police have recovered the metal sign that hung over the former Nazi death camp Auschwitz.

A Police spokeswoman said that the sign was found in northern Poland and five suspects had been detained.

The spokeswoman said the sign -- which read "Arbeit macht frei" ("Work makes you free") -- was cut into three pieces after being stolen on December 18.

The motives for the theft, which sparked worldwide condemnation, were not immediately known.

Museum authorities welcomed the news despite the damage done to the sign.

Spokesman Pawel Sawicki said conservation experts will have to determine how best to repair it and that the museum authorities hope to restore it to its place as soon as possible.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has called on Poland to act to find "these twisted criminals that desecrated the place where over a million Jews were murdered."

compiled from agency reports