THE WARSAW UPRISING MUSEUM IS OPENED! (Muzeum Powstania Warszawskiego otwarte)
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The story of the efforts, endeavours and outright battles waged for the Warsaw Uprising Museum is almost 25 years old. During the 1980s and 1990s the circumstances prevailing in Poland were not conducive for all initiatives associated with the Warsaw Uprising. At the dawn of the twenty first century Poland joined NATO and became a member of the European Union. National identity and patriotism, which for several centuries were manifested by means of a struggle for independence, became fashionable again. On 31 July 2004, on the threshold of the sixtieth anniversary of the outbreak of the Warsaw Uprising, a museum specialising in this important historical event was ceremoniously opened. It is located in a historical, long defunct electric power plant which in the past supplied power to Warsaw trams. The competition for the architectural conception was won by the renowned Cracow-based architect Wojciech Obtulowicz - the solid of the old plant will remain unaltered and its form, characteristic for this type of architecture, will be restored by removing the postwar plaster and the disclosure of the red brick walls. A modern reinforced concrete construction will make it possible to shape the museum interiors at will. A prominent element of the whole premise is the so-called Liberty Park, with a labyrinth of plants pruned so as to resemble ruins, and a site for displaying vehicles used during the Uprising. Freedom Avenue separates the Park from streets with a 3-metre wall which features the chiselled names and pseudonyms of the insurgents. The competition for the interior exposition was won by a team of graduates of the Warsaw Academy of Fine Arts: Miroslaw Nizio, Jaroslaw Klaput and Dariusz Kunowski; their modern project abandons traditional exhibition solutions - the empty halls of the power plant are to be filled with a labyrinth of walls and landings made of concrete, steel and glass. Light and sound, monitors and telebeam screens - the accomplishments of modern technology in the service of historical documentation, exerting an impact on emotions and stirring the imagination. Concern and respect for the mementos predominate. The museum proposes a new vision of the Uprising, concurrent with accents preeminent in the course of the three-day long celebrations of the sixtieth anniversary. The Uprising was the greatest freedom-oriented surge in Europe during the WW II as well as testimony of patriotism which contemporary generations might find simply inconceivable.
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