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Warsaw. A mural commemorating Prof. was unveiled. Karol Modzelewski

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He was a historian and member of the democratic opposition during the Polish People's Republic. On Wednesday, a mural commemorating Prof. was unveiled on the facade of the building at 6 Rudnickiego Street. Karol Modzelewski. The black and white work was designed by the famous artist Wilhelm Sasnal.

Commemoration of prof. Modzelewski's initiative was initiated by family and friends. The wall at 6 Rudnickiego Street, which is decorated with a mural, is not accidental. As the Bielany District Office said in a statement, the professor's friends suggested this place because of sentiment. Karol Modzelewski often walked in this area.

A wise and decisive politician

Charles was a wise, determined politician and a historian who was firm in his beliefs. From the mural he looks at us with his smile, which is very warm – because that's the kind of person Karol was, a very warm person. I would like you to remember him this way, said Małgorzata Goetz, the professor's widow, quoted in the statement.

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The author of the mural is an outstanding artist, one of the most valued contemporary painters, and privately a friend of the professor – Wilhelm Sasnal. His works can be admired all over the world, including: at the Guggenheim Museum in New York, Tate Modern in London, van Abbemuseum in Eindhoven and Fondation Beyeler in Basel, as well as in cultural centers in Warsaw such as the Museum of Modern Art, the National Museum, Zachęta National Gallery of Art and the Center for Contemporary Art. He designed, among others: a mural by Jacek Kuroń and a mural commemorating the heroines and heroes of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising.

– I was very interested in music, which is why I was drawing portraits of musicians from my youth. Later I managed to paint some of them. However, in my adult life I focused on more important things, such as politics and who to have as role models. As luck would have it, I was asked to design a mural to represent someone who is very important in terms of moral azimuth. Now I can see the agency of art. I can see that it can act as a good monument – emphasized Wilhelm Sasnal during the ceremony.

Great authority

The mayor of Bielany, Grzegorz Pietruczuk, recalled the words of Karol Modzelewski, which – as he said – were also adequate to what is happening today and show what kind of person the professor was. – Out of the triad of freedom, equality and fraternity, we have suffered a serious defeat in the field of the latter two. All we got was freedom. But without equality and fraternity it is in danger and cannot be limited to the freedom of movement of financial capital, he said. He added: – This is a very important day for our Bielany community.

Marian Turski also took part in the mural unveiling ceremony, emphasizing how great an authority Prof. was for him. Modzelewski. – With him there was not only readiness, the decision to serve time for ideals. He also had great wisdom in looking at himself and the ability to critically look at what he did. I hesitated a lot in my life several times and I was lucky to be able to come to Karol and confide in him and listen to his advice. If I came more often, I would be a better person, he said.

Prof. Karol Modzelewski lived and worked scientifically in Bielany in the years 1995-2019. An intimate apartment in a building at ul. Perzyńskiego 14D was a very important place for the students of a professor from the Faculty of History of the University of Warsaw.

Political prisoner, co-founder of “Solidarity”

– We came here very scared that we could not solve some research problem. It was scientific, substantive and psychotherapy assistance in one. Plus, of course, an unforgettable culinary experience. The professor's wife, Mrs. Małgosia, took care of us. This place in Bielany was important not only for us, but was also part of Polish science in the full sense of the word – emphasized Dr. Hab. Aneta Pieniądz, former student and today vice-dean for student affairs at the Faculty of History at the University of Warsaw.

Karol Modzelewski (23/11/1937 – 28/04/2019)Wikipedia/Tomasz Leśniowski

Prof. Karol Modzelewski was a doctoral student at the Institute of History of the University of Warsaw, from where he was dismissed for political reasons. He returned to the University in the early 1990s. He also worked at the Institute of the History of Material Culture of the Polish Academy of Sciences. He was also a political prisoner and one of the leaders of the democratic opposition during the Polish People's Republic and a senator of the Third Polish Republic. Co-founder of “Solidarity”. He received the title of Knight of the Order of the White Eagle. In 2014, he was honored with the NIKE Literary Award for the book “We'll take the horse of history. Confessions of a poobijanym rider”. He died on April 28, 2019.

Main photo source: Bielany District Office

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