Saturday, April 16, 2016

A mural to commemorate Polish history in the East Village

There's a ceremony tomorrow (Sunday!) afternoon at 1 at 104 St. Mark's Place between Avenue A and First Avenue to officially unveil a new mural... here are details from the media advisory sent our way via the Polish Cultural Institute New York...

On April 17 at 1:00 PM in New York’s East Village the ceremonial unveiling of a mural commemorating the 1,050 years of Polish Statehood will take place. The mural will be located on the wall of a building belonging to the Parish of St. Stanislaus The Bishop and Martyr at 104 St. Marks Place. Along with commemorating Poland's impressive history, placing the mural in the East Village honors Polish immigrants' footprint in the area.

We would like to highlight the Polish presence in the neighborhood by introducing a mural marking the 966 baptism of Duke Mieszko I, which was not only an act of faith, but one with significant political and social consequences.

Throughout the years there has been a strong Polish presence in the East Village. The neighborhood has witnessed many important events such as 1909's final tribute to Helena Modrzejewska (Modjeska) at the Parish Church of St. Stanislaus Bishop and Martyr established by Polish immigrants in 1872; Tadeusz Kantor's plays at La MaMa and events at the famous Polish National Home "The Dom" (which was known as one of the hippest hangouts of the 1960s). The East Village was also portrayed by Janusz Glowacki, and has inspired many contemporary artists, including those who have visited Ms. Ludwika "Lucy" Mickevicius in her famous Polish bar.

The mural's artist Janusz Gilewicz, was born in Poland and has lived in the East Village for years.

The celebration of the 1,050th Anniversary of the Baptism of Poland is taking place under the Honorary Patronage of the President of the Republic of Poland, Andrzej Duda.

How to decode the mural:

* A country of nearly 40 million people located in the center of Europe
* Polish Constitution of May 3rd 1791 was the oldest in Europe, and the second-oldest in the world (after the United States)
* 10 million Americans are of Polish descent
* In the New York City metropolitan area alone, nearly 135,000 people speak Polish

The Ichthys (“fish”) is a symbol of Christianity
* Much older than the cross, and still in use today
* In his novel Quo Vadis, Polish Nobel Prize winner Henryk Sienkiewicz showed early Christians using the ichthys as a secret sign to identify one another

* The year of the baptism of Duke Mieszko I, ruler of Poland, bringing the country into Western civilization
* Marks the beginning of the Polish state
* The Baptism of Poland strengthened the country’s position among its neighbors

The Flag of Poland
* In heraldry, white represents spiritual values and purity, and red, bravery and valor
*Both serves the compositional beauty of the piece and serves as a symbol of the multicultural heritage of this neighborhood.


Anonymous said...

I wonder how Bernie Sanders, "the son of a Polish immigrant", feels about al this...

Anonymous said...

there are polish jews and there are polish catholics--- bernie is the former and as far as i know, he's not into any organized religion.

what is your point about his father, aside from him being polish?

m2ndSt said...

I'm confused why this year is on the mural, usually when you bracket something by two dates it means it has died, not the message they were going for

yes said...

its all listed in the first paragraph. commemorates 1050 years.

Anonymous said...

m2ndSt nailed it -- my first thought was that the whole thing looked like a tombstone.

And Bernie Sanders is as Polish as Larry David regardless of where his daddy is from.

Trixie said...

@m2ndSt and anonymous 7:06am, think of America's Bicentennial, 1776-1976 it's an anniversary, a commemoration, not dates on a tombstone.

m2ndSt said...

Yeah, I get it there is just something really sombre feeling about it rather than celebratory.

Anonymous said...

'Looks like a phone number without an area code.

Unknown said...

Thanks everyone for commemorate Polish history. Grettings from Poland!