Krzysztof Brejza published in social media a response from Bank Gospodarstwa Krajowego regarding “patriotic benches” in the shape of the contours of Poland, which were erected in several Polish cities at the turn of August and September last year. The senator of the Civic Coalition, referring to the response from BGK, wrote that “the dismantled ‘benches’ were placed in the warehouse of the advertising agency”, and the bank spent two million zlotys on them.
It is about white and red structures in the shape of the contours of Poland and benches hidden inside them, on which you could sit, provided that you did not break the 15-point regulations. At the end of November, the “patriotic benches” disappeared.
It was BGK that was responsible for setting up the structure. As you can read in the bank’s statement issued at the end of August, the installation was “an element of the information and promotion campaign dedicated to investments, the implementation of which is supported by BGK”.
Questions to BGK
“BGK’s response to the fate of the installations, which stood for 3 months and cost PLN 2 million: – dismantled “benches” were placed in the warehouse of an advertising agency – BGK spent PLN 2 million, and the owner of the structure is … Agencja HH “- we read in Senator Brejza’s entry.
The answer published by Senator Brejza on Monday is a consequence of his intervention in early January. At that time, he asked BGK questions about, among others, where the dismantled elements of the benches are stored, whether any elements of the installation have already been disposed of, who owns the dismantled parts and who was the author of the benches and who supervised the implementation of this project on the part of BGK or possibly the Chancellery of the Prime Minister.
The goal of “best service to the local community”
The representative of BGK wrote in response that “elements of the dismantled installations of the so-called ‘benches’ are stored in the warehouses of the Hackett Hamilton agency (hereinafter: Agencja HH)”.
She also added that “from the beginning, the assumption of the campaign was to hand over the elements of the structure after their disassembly to specific entities, so that they could be reused in public space.”
“BGK participates in determining the method of final disposal of the dismantled installation elements. Work in this area is still ongoing, and their goal is to best serve the local community, e.g. benches and other wooden elements have already been handed over for reuse, and arrangements for reusing the use of the remaining elements are in progress.
The owner of the installations used in the campaign is Agencja HH, and from the beginning one of the assumptions of the campaign agreed with BGK was to hand over the elements of the structure after their disassembly to specific entities so that they could be reused in public space.
Senator Brejza has already asked about “benches”
This is not the first intervention of Senator Brejza regarding “benches”. Earlier, he sent a letter to Bank Gospodarstwa Krajowego in September 2022 and received a reply in the same month.
The document read – as previously reported in the communiqué – that “the installations are part of an advertising campaign that promotes Poland and Polish investments supported by BGH throughout the country”. The bank also informed then that “the cost of producing one installation is PLN 100,000 net”. It was reported that “the project was prepared and implemented by the Hackett Hamilton agency acting on behalf of BGK, selected to handle the bank’s advertising in a tender procedure in February 2022”.
“16 installations were produced, one in each voivodship” – we read in the reply to Brejza. It was also added that “maintenance of the installation in proper technical condition and the author of the regulations for using the installation is the contractor of the order”.
How much did the benches cost in total?
According to the information obtained by Brezja, the total net cost of the “benches” is PLN 1.6 million. The senator stated in the entry that the gross amount for each bench was PLN 123,000. It follows that the gross amount of all installations is PLN 1,968,000.
Main photo source: Paweł Jaworski, Experimental Urbanism