Up to PLN 100 million over the next ten years could flow from the Ministry of Culture to the Institute of the Heritage of National Thought. Roman Dmowski and Ignacy Jan Paderewski. Even a new minister would have difficulty stopping the flow of money. All thanks to the agreement, which is to be discussed at a hastily convened extraordinary session of the Otwock City Council. It is the city ruled by a president supporting Law and Justice that would be a party and at the same time a beneficiary of the above-mentioned agreement. However, the session was canceled and the Supreme Audit Office announced that it had started an audit of this institute.
To the Institute of the Heritage of National Thought. Roman Dmowski and Ignacy Jan Paderewski belong to the Patriotic Fund. As we reported on tvn24.pl, the Fund has PLN 30 million at its disposal each year, of which PLN 20 million can be allocated to “investment and infrastructure projects”. From this pool, 52 entities received grants, many of them are related to the current ruling camp or the conservative environment, which PiS supports.
The Institute reports to the Minister of Culture and National Heritage, Piotr Gliński. The fate of this type of institution is basically sealed after the change of government. They are either liquidated or replaced with new people. An agreement between the Ministry of Culture and the city of Otwock could open the third scenario – leaving an institution subsidized with public money in the hands of the United Right camp. Because the minister could not dismiss the institute’s authorities on his own. He would need city approval to do so.
– In my opinion, this is a classic example of making it difficult for the future government to fill positions in the units subordinated to it or even make decisions about the validity of the existence of institutions created by the current government – commented Przemysław Bogusz, a non-partisan councilor of Otwock, on Facebook.
When asked for a comment, the city hall did not respond to our questions by the time of publication. It was explained on the Facebook profile that thanks to the agreement, the city would receive money for the renovation of a historic building in the center.
– This institute has actually become an IV drip for nationalists, anti-Semites, and all kinds of extremely radical circles on the Polish right – said Michał Szczerba, an MP from the Civic Coalition. He suggested that a possible resolution of the council could be repealed by a new voivode, who will probably be appointed by the new prime minister after the change of government.
Contract for 10 years
The agreement concerns running the Dmowski Institute as a joint institution of the ministry and the city. It would be concluded by December 31, 2033.
A branch of the institute would be the Ignacy Jan Paderewski Memorial Chamber, which was planned to be located in a historic, although destroyed property at 7 Czaplickiego Street. This would be a clear benefit for the city, because there has been no money for the renovation of the facility for years.
Subsidies from the Ministry of Culture secured
As we read in the draft agreement, the minister undertakes to provide the institute with funds – over PLN 10 million annually. In turn, the city is to donate PLN 200,000 for this activity.
In the years 2024-2025, the Minister will provide the Institute with a targeted subsidy for renovation expenses intended for the development, adaptation and purpose of the property located in Otwock at ul. Czaplickiego 7 for the seat of the Institute’s branch, i.e. the Ignacy Jan Paderewski Memorial Chamber (including: design work, cost estimates, adaptation works, investor service, supervision and equipment) in the total amount of PLN 3,500,000 (in words: three million five hundred thousand zlotys) .
As it was emphasized, changes to the statute will be made by the Minister of Culture with the consent of the city. The director of the facility is also to be appointed and dismissed by the minister, with the consent of the city.
“After granting the Statute to the Institute, the City will appoint two additional members of the Institute’s Program Council, who will serve until the end of the current term of office of the Council,” it was emphasized.
The minister will be able to liquidate the institute and the property will then return to the city. In such a case, the ministry also ensures the security of the facility’s collections.
Councilor: this is an example of making it difficult for the future government to fill positions
The City Council was to convene in an extraordinary manner on Thursday evening. This was reported by Przemysław Bogusz mentioned above.
“From today to tomorrow, in an extraordinary manner, without the seven-day period provided for in the city statute for reviewing the draft resolutions, a session of the Otwock City Council was convened at the request of the president (or more precisely – the vice-president acting under his authorization). The subject of the meeting is the draft a resolution regarding the city’s co-running of one of the government institutes, for which the president intends to allocate the old court building at Czaplicki Street as a branch,” he commented on Facebook.
He added: “In short, if the resolution passes, over PLN 10 million per year (i.e. over PLN 100 million in total) will be allocated to the institute only from the ministry for 10 years, plus PLN 2 million from the city budget – PLN 200,000 per year, and the city’s consent will be needed to dismiss and appoint the director and define the terms of his contract. In my opinion, this is a classic example of making it difficult for the future government to fill positions in the units subordinated to it, or even to decide on the validity of the existence of institutions created by the current government.
However, on Thursday evening, Bogusz announced on Facebook that councilors received an SMS with information that there would be no session on that day due to the lack of a quorum.
There was supposed to be a session of the City Council, but it will not take place due to lack of quorum
“Just before the planned session on the co-running of the institute by Otwock, which the media associates, among others, with financing Bąkiewicz’s activities, the councilors received a new version of the agreement between the Minister of Culture and Otwock, and immediately afterwards… a text message that there would be no session today due to the lack of a quorum. And who would be missing? PiS, whose president heads the Otwock authorities and would sign this agreement? Probably not the councilors of the Otwock Platform, who have so far bravely supported PiS,” he wrote.
The city explains: cooperation “to save the monument”
We asked the spokeswoman of the office in Otwock for a comment on this matter, but we have not received a response yet. However, the city spoke on this matter on social media.
As stated on Facebook, talks are being conducted “in order to save the historic and destroyed building at ul. Czaplickiego 7 – the former Racówka villa and make it available for social purposes.” “The collections of the Czartoryski museum and Ignacy Jan Paderewski’s piano are just some of the many exhibits that will be available there to the residents of Otwock and beyond,” they assured.
The entry also recalled that for about two years the historic building of the former Racówka villa has been out of use due to its poor technical condition.
“The building, which was built in the 1920s, is falling apart before our eyes because the costs of its renovation are enormous. However, the city has found a way to save and restore this one of the most beautiful buildings in Otwock and make it available to residents again,” it said.
“Thanks to the cooperation with the Institute of National Heritage and Thought, the acquired PLN 3.5 million will be used to revitalize the building and donate it to social purposes. The exhibits that will go to Otwock are related to one of the main Fathers of Independence – Roman Dmowski and Ignacy Jan Paderewski” – assured .
The city also mentioned that the building is to include, among others: a memorial room dedicated to Paderewski, which would include about 100 artifacts, including a piano, original documents, photos, postcards with the artist’s image, as well as some collections from the Czartoryski museum.
NIK begins the audit
The Supreme Audit Office announced on social media in the evening that it had started an audit of this institute.
“NIK auditors have started inspection activities at the Roman Dmowski and Ignacy Jan Paderewski Institute of the Heritage of National Thought. This institution is soon to be co-run by the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage and the City of Otwock,” it was written on the X platform (former Twitter).
KO: this institute has become an IV drip for nationalists
The matter was publicized on Thursday by KO MPs Dariusz Joński and Michał Szczerba.
– Of course, the voivode, if this resolution is adopted today, will have the opportunity to react and will be able to declare this resolution invalid, but if he does not declare it invalid, we will want to appeal against it to the administrative court – Joński announced at a press conference. – We won’t let them take money away. We will not allow a heist of PLN 100 million, he emphasized.
He added that the fund in question was intended to “transfer huge amounts of money to people in power.” – Among others, to Bąkiewicz – he recalled.
– This institute has actually become an IV drip for nationalists, anti-Semites, and all kinds of extremely radical circles on the Polish right – said MP Szczerba. As he recalled, together with MP Joński, they announced the removal of this institute and the liquidation of the patriotic fund at one of the program conventions. – Which is, in fact, a pumping station for public funds taken away from Polish culture and national heritage to extreme organizations such as the Robert Bąkiewicz Association.
Main photo source: Przemysław Bogusz – non-partisan councilor of the Otwock City Council, Facebook