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A controversial sculpture on a building at Kopernika Street in Krakow caused an avalanche of reactions from the services

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The services went to Kopernika Street in Krakow at least five times over the weekend after reports of a man standing on the ledge of a tenement house. Rescue operations were unnecessary because – as it turned out – the figure resembling a person in emotional crisis was a sculpture placed there as part of the festival. Due to the “large demand of emergency services”, the organizers decided to move the installation.

If you are experiencing emotional problems and would like advice or support, here you will find a list of organizations offering professional help. In a situation of immediate threat to life, call 997 or 112.

On Sunday evening, the unofficial “Spotted: Kraków” Facebook profile published photos of a controversial installation that was placed on the facade of a tenement house at 15 Kopernika Street in Krakow. This is one of the former buildings of the University Hospital.

Read also: An 82-year-old woman called the emergency number and asked for alcohol

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The entry was commented by a person who introduced himself as an emergency number operator. “I am asking you to place an announcement for residents that the puppet placed by Krakow artists on the building at ul. Kopernika 15 is an puppet and not a real ****. I am an emergency number operator who, thanks to this ill-considered performer, is forced to calm down the nervous and often panicked people. people who think they are witnessing a suicide attempt,” we read in the entry.

There was a wave of comments critical of the artists under the post. Some Internet users even called for the authors of the sculpture to be punished.

Police: we must respond to every report

Senior Sergeant Rafał Wawrzuta from the Krakow police press team confirmed that the artistic installation resulted in unnecessary interventions of the emergency services. – Since Friday, we have had five interventions regarding this sculpture. Passers-by reported that a person was trying to take his own life. We have to respond to every such report, which is why we came to the site. There were probably many more reports, because some people may have called when the officers were already on their way to the scene or realized during a conversation with the operator that he was not a real person, said the policeman.

The controversial sculpture was placed on the façade of a tenement house as part of the OPEN CITY Festival of Art in Public Space. The opening of the exhibition on Friday, June 14 was attended by, among others, the most important Krakow officials: vice-presidents Maria Klaman and Stanisław Mazur, as well as the president of the management board of the Krakow City Development Agency, Katarzyna Olesiak. ARMK manages the former Wesoła district.

They moved the controversial sculpture

On Monday, the Krakow City Hall responded to the criticism directed at the controversial sculpture. In a statement, the municipality announced that the artistic installation would be moved. “The work is so realistic that it provokes passers-by to call the emergency number with information about a person wanting to jump from a height. Due to the high demand of emergency services, the organizers decided to move the sculpture to ul. Kopernika 19, to the lower floor,” we read in statement, which also appeared on the festival's website.

Read also: “Reaching for support and help is not weakness, it is strength and courage”

“The work by Monika and Tomek Bielak, titled 'Balance', aims to draw attention to the problem of people struggling with depression and suicidal thoughts, which often go unnoticed by society. A plaque and an information pole with a description of the project are placed next to the sculpture,” the city said.

Open City Festival in Krakow

The exhibition as part of the Open City festival was organized in Krakow for the first time – previously the event was held in Lublin. As part of the event, art goes “out onto the street”, into public space, “becoming available to everyone”.

“Until the end of August, you can see 44 installations and sculptures by various artists on Wesoła Street, whose works refer to the motto of the first Krakow edition – 'Mater:ja'. The aim of the event is, above all, to make contemporary art an integral part of everyday life, inspiring reflection and discovery of the city through an artistic prism,” we read on the city's website.

Main photo source: Bogusław Świerzowski, krakow.pl

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