The capital city hall has announced a competition for the concept of the foundation of the bust of President Gabriel Narutowicz and the development of the surrounding area. The pedestal will be moved from the edge of the square to its more representative part – to the place where the tram drivers’ pavilion stands today. This year marks the 100th anniversary of the murder of the first president of the Second Polish Republic.
– The Council of the Capital City of Warsaw announced the year 2022 as Gabriel Narutowicz. For now, we want to commemorate the hundredth anniversary of the president’s death by placing his bust on Narutowicz Square and arranging the surrounding area. That is why we are announcing a competition for the development of an architectural or sculptural concept for the foundation of our hero’s monument, said Renata Kaznowska, vice-president of Warsaw, quoted in the communiqué of the town hall.
The announcement indicated that the competition task was to prepare a concept for the new foundation of President Narutowicz’s bust within the square named after him. According to the assumptions, the concept “should provide a commemorative inscription accompanying the monument, in the form of the name and date of life, with the possibility of extending the inscription, assuming that the form is optional”. The pedestal on which the bust will stand “must ensure proper exposure and emphasize the artistic value of the bust”. At the same time, the town hall ensures that it leaves the contestants “freedom in the choice of artistic means of expression”.
The deadline for submitting offers is February 28.
In place of the tram drivers’ pavilion
In the rules of the competition, the town hall indicated a new location for the monument. “The building of the Warsaw Trams expedition is currently located in the planned location. Currently, its relocation is underway, so the monument and the development of its surroundings should be designed as if the building did not exist anymore” – we read in the regulations.
“The optimal location of the monument is the southernmost part of the green area, designed between the pedestrian route leading from Supińskiego Street to the Church of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary, and the tram route in the axis of Filtrowa Street” – indicated in the document. “The monument should be located in the peripheral part of the green area, so that this area is an attractive background for the commemoration, and at the same time the commemoration is directly accessible and well exposed from the main square of Narutowicza Square and the Supińskiego street – the church. The front of the monument should be facing south-east “- added.
The monument will be an element of the final development of Narutowicza Square, but it will be placed there before its comprehensive reconstruction. “Thus, the participants of the competition should, on the one hand, prepare a concept for the development of the area around the monument in such a way that it becomes an integral part of the general concept of redevelopment of the square, and on the other hand, so that its implementation in the existing surroundings is not gross” – indicated in recommendations.
According to the assumption, the height of the monument should not exceed six meters.
There was not enough money for the monument
On December 5, 1992, a sandstone slab was placed on the site of the future monument with the inscription: “A monument to President Gabriel Narutowicz will be erected on this square.” Due to the lack of funds, the construction of the monument was abandoned, and it was replaced with a bust of Narutowicz according to a double-enlarged sculpture by Edward Wittig located in the auditorium of the Warsaw University of Technology. They were placed on a polished granite plinth.
The monument was unveiled on December 9, 2002, and a plaque with information about the president was placed next to it.
On tvnwarszawa.pl we also informed about the discovery of original plaster molds used in the factory of the Łopieński Brothers for making bronze sculptures. Among them was the posthumous mask of President Gabriel Narutowicz:
Main photo source: UM Warsaw