Monument to the Presidents of Great Warsaw – S. Starzyński and J. S. Kulski received funding from the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage!
The Kulski Foundation for Polish-American relations was among the institutions distinguished in this year’s edition of the grant program of the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage entitled “Memorials and Permanent Commemorations in the Country”.
The aim of the program of the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage is, among others, to support non-governmental organizations in creating material testimonies of events and figures of key importance to the Polish national identity. We are proud to be part of this extremely valuable program.
The Kulski Foundation will allocate funds from the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage subsidy for the monument construction to the Presidents of Great Warsaw – Stefan Starzyński and Julian Spitosław Kulski. The sculpture will be located in the immediate vicinity of the restored gardens of the Royal Castle and near Wisłostrada. The location of the monument underlines the idea behind the construction of the Vistula Boulevards initiated by S. Starzyński and J. S. Kulski. The Vistula Boulevards were a continuation of the great project of “turning the city towards the Vistula”. The involvement of both presidents in the construction of the Boulevards is confirmed by a plaque from 1935 placed on the retaining wall of the Wisłostrada River in the vicinity of the monument.
The monument will present the figures of two distinguished Presidents of Warsaw – the heroic defender of the capital during the siege of September 1939, Stefan Starzyński and his successor Julian Spitosław Kulski, who headed the civil administration of the city after Starzyński was arrested and murdered by the Nazis.
Although the figure and character of Stefan Starzyński exists in the common consciousness of Poles, today this great organizer, visionary and hero of the war did not get a worthy place of commemoration. The attempts to commemorate the activities of both presidents so far have failed to meet social expectations and have not been appreciated by the inhabitants of Warsaw. Just as the figure of President S. Starzyński is known to the general public, the figure of his friend Julian S. Kulski, and longtime ally is practically unknown today.
From 1935, J. S. Kulski not only together with S. Starzyński jointly administered the subordinate structures of the city board and municipal enterprises, but also co-created development plans for Great Warsaw. The real time of honor and loyalty to the homeland came to Kulski with the arrest of Stefan Starzyński by the Germans. For almost five years, risking his own life and the life of his beloved every single day, he showed courage and steadfastness towards the German occupiers, playing the role of the commissary president of the city on behalf of the Home Army, i.e. the de facto president of the occupied capital.
The monument by Paweł Pietrusiński, whose significant achievements are visible on the map of contemporary Warsaw, is an opportunity to commemorate both presidents of merit for Warsaw. The sculptures will be made on the basis of a photo from 1938, where presidents Starzyński and Kulski visit the construction of the boulevard on the Vistula River. The photo inspired the author, Paweł Pietrusiński and gave the opportunity to create a sculpture that would fit perfectly into the surroundings of today’s Vistula boulevards. For Polish people and foreign tourists staying in Warsaw, the monument will be a natural combination of the past and the present, an encouragement to think about historical Warsaw and her identity.
This project is co-financed by the Minister of Culture, National Heritage and Sport from the Culture Promotion Fund, obtained from subsidies established in games subject to state monopoly, in accordance with Art. 80 sec. 1 of the Act of November 19, 2009 on Gambling “
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