European Bike Race

April 21, 2014
Biking Success

Biking Success

A new bike competition will begin on 1 May and will end on 31 May. If someone wishes to take part, they should install the free smartphone app Endomondo and log all of their bike trips. The European city which clocks the largest number of kilometers wins. So a city’s success is down to two factors: the number of registered members and their activity. Competition members can use any bike they choose to, including the city bike rental service Veturilo. 32 cities across Europe will be competiting. These include, amongst others, Rome, Oslo, Tallinn and Malaga. Apart from Warsaw, the Polish cities of Gdynia and Łódź will also take part.
wiadomosci.onet.pl

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Troublesome Monument

April 20, 2014
The Mikoyan Gurevich

The Mikoyan Gurevich

The Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-17 PF came to Ostrowiec Swiętokrzyski thirty years ago, in 1984, as a gift from the People’s Army. For many years it was easy on the eye for the town’s residents but it has recently fallen into disrepair. Unfortunately, there is no money to repair the monument, which commemorates Polish pilots who died during WWII. It is one of seventeen planes that were sent to Poland in order to defend its borders in case of armed conflict. According to the residents, not only is it a city landmark but also a symbol of the fight for freedom. However, according to expert opinion, the dilapidated structure will be technically viable only until October. Therefore, it is crucial that another technical expert opinion be prepared, at a cost of PLN 2,500, an expense that the local housing association simply cannot afford. Nor is the money the only problem. “During strong winds, the plane begins to sway and is a risk to passers-by,” claims Marek Zaręba, head of the local housing association. This explains why in 2010 the management board of the housing association in Ostrowiec suggested that the plane be sold. However, local residents want the plane to stay and petitioned the head of the municipality of Ostrowiec Swiętokrzyski for financial support. Therefore, the fate of this unique MiG-17 PF is now in the hands of councillors.
tvp.pl

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Blockbuster in Poland

April 19, 2014
In Cinemas Now

In Cinemas Now

Steven Knight’s “Locke” starring Tom Hardy is the film of the week. Hardy’s magnetic voice and remarkable acting make it well worth watching. It tells the story of Ivan Locke who has a family he adores and job he loves. One phone call forces him to make a decision that changes everything. Błażej Hrapkowicz, a Polish film critic enthuses, “It’s a great movie, despite the fact that it was risky to leave the viewer watching the main character in a car throughout the whole film.” Hrapkowicz highlights the fact that Tom Hardy was great in the role “because we are dealing with monologue.”
polskieradio.pl

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Rolling Stones in Poland

April 9, 2014
Still Can't Get No...

Still Can’t Get No…

The manager of the Rolling Stones has announced that a concert will take place at the National Stadium in Warsaw at the personal request of the President of Poland Bronisław Komorowski on the 25th anniversary of the free elections held on 4 June 1989. The Rolling Stones want to do something similar to U2 who had a concert to mark the anniversary of German reunification, reports Polish Radio One. “We knew that 4 June is an important day for Polish people, although we were not fully aware of what happened on that day,” admits the manager. “The Stones have prepared a surprise. They will sing the famous Maryla Rodowicz song “Niechżyje bal” (‘Long Live the Ball’). There is no lack of great Polish rock songs that Mick Jagger could sing. So, we are not ruling out the possibility of other Polish songs being sung. The Rolling Stones remember the Warsaw concert of 1967. There were a lot of people and it was really hot,” continues the manager. A group of Polish artists wrote a letter to Bronisław Komorowski protesting against the Warsaw concert. “We oppose this cultural initiative, which will result in making a substantial financial contribution to a foreign artist. The celebration of our national victory should be an opportunity for the global presentation of Polish music,” wrote Krystyna Prońko, Robert Chojnacki and others. However, much to the annoyance of Polish Stones’ fans, it turned out that the concert announcement was an April Fool’s joke by Polish Radio.
polskieradio.pl

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Steps Return to Poland

April 3, 2014
Palatial Return

Palatial Return

Germany has returned one of Poland’s most valuable paintings. The Palace Stairs palace” will be the only painting of Francesco Guardi in Poland. It was one of the most precious paintings before the war. The painting was stolen during the occupation and now, after over 70 years, this precious work of art returned to Poland, to the National Museum in Warsaw. Although the dimension of the painting is not so big, it is great and extremely valuable. An 18th century painting ‘Palace stairs’ by Venetian artist Francesco Guardi was one of the most precious paintings in Poland during World War II. The small oil painting depicts the stairs of Venice’s Doge Palace. There are the bearers walking up the stairs and there are also noblemen standing in the shadow of the palace arcades. Grażyna Bastek from the National Museum in Warsaw says that the unique composition of the painting shows the greatness of this work. Despite of its small size (a little bigger than A4 sheet), the image gives the impression of grandeur. There is also a play of light: the shadow in the foreground perfectly transforms into a lightened courtyard. The painting was bought by the National Museum in Warsaw in 1925 from an art collector Leon Kranc. The National Museum paid for the painting 8,5 thousand zlotys. On Monday 31 March, German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier handed back the painting to his Polish counterpart Radoslaw Sikorski. The ceremony took place in Berlin. Recently ‘Palace stairs’ was at the National Art Gallery in Stuttgart.
kultura.dziennik.pl

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Dr. House in Poland

April 3, 2014
Hugh Laurie

Hugh Laurie

British actor and musician Hugh Laurie, best known for his role as Dr. House, will come to Poland on the 27 July for a concert in Poznań, followed by one in Szczecin two days later. Laurie’s tour will be promoting the two albums “Let Them Talk” and “Didn’t It Rain”. The Poznań concert will be held in the Adam Mickiewicz University Concert Hall whereas the Szczecin gig will take place in the Pomeranian Dukes’ Castle. In 2011 Laurie released his debut blues album “Let Them Talk” with the follow-up album, “Didn’t It Rain”, coming out in 2013. He studied Archaeology and Anthropology at Cambridge, where he joined Footlights, the university dramatic club where he discovered his talent for acting. In 1985, he starred in the movie “Abundance” with Meryl Streep, Sting and Charles Dance. He went on to play roles in “Sense and Sensibility” (1995), “101 Dalmatians” (1996) and “The Man in the Iron Mask” (1998). Hugh Laurie has received two Golden Globe awards for his role as Dr. Gregory House. Laurie returns to Poland after his successful Warsaw concent in 2013.
tvn24.pl

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Greatest Discovery

April 2, 2014
Eclipsing Tutankhamen

Eclipsing Tutankhamen

Archeologists from the University of Warsaw are one step away from discovering the sarcophagus of Egyptian Pharaoh Herihor. If they reach the burial chamber of Herihor, the discovery will equal that of the discovery of Tutankhamen’s tomb. Andrzej Niwiński, a professor at the University of Warsaw, head of the Polish expedition and a well-known Egyptologist and archaeologist said that Pharaoh Herihor was probably one of the best known Egyptian Pharaohs. “As a Pharaoh, Tutankhamen had no claim to fame. He is well known in history mostly thanks to the discovery of his tomb, which was completely intact, filled with treasures and not violated by grave robbers. In 11th century BC, a rebellious Egyptian army plundered all the temples and tombs in the Valley of the Pharaohs except one, that of Tutankhamen. As for Herihor, he was a general and Commander-in-Chief of the Egyptian army. He was the first to arrive to crush a rebellion. After that he decided to make his own tomb impregnable.”It has already taken fifteen years to reach the tomb. It is difficult and laborious work. Andrzej Niwiński continues: “Herihor’s tomb is exceptionally protected with tons of huge stones.  According to our assumptions, up to 5000 tons of stones were crumbled and up to 1500-2000 are left to reach the tomb this autumn.”
redaktorext.polskieradio.pl

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Dietrich, Bacharach and Niemen

March 29, 2014
Star in Warsaw

Hunted for Czesław Niemen

In 1964, the Warsaw concerts of Marlene Dietrich, accompanied by Burt Bacharach, were supported by the Polish band Niebiesko-Czarni. “Marlene came to see Czesław Niemen and asked for his song ‘Do you still remember me?’. Nobody believed that it might lead to something,” said Dariusz Michalski, a Polish Radio music journalist. In the 1950s and early 1960s the outstanding composer and pianist Burt Bacharach figured as a well-known accompanist for various performers and was also musical director for Marlene Dietrich. In January 1964, they arrived in Poland together, where they gave six concerts. “On page 85 of his book Burt Bacharach. Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head, he recalls the Polish weather, Marlene, Polish vodka and the Bristol Hotel, a first-class hotel at the time,” says Dariusz Michalski, “Niebiesko-Czarni played as a support act at Dietrich’s concerts. As for Burt Bacharach, he conducted an orchestra of Polish musicians and American drummers and bassists, but nobody then knew who he was.” However, everybody knew who Marlene Dietrich was and her interest in a Czesław Niemen song caused a sensation. She asked Niemen for the music and lyrics of the song ‘Czy mnie jeszcze pamiętasz’. Dariusz Michalski continues: “In November 1964 Burt Bacharach conducted an orchestra while Dietrich sang her own German version of the Polish song which is called ‘Mutter, hast du mir vergeben’. This was the point Czesław Niemen was introduced to Europe.”
polskieradio.pl

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Shape of Things to Come

March 27, 2014
Architectural Wonder

Architectural Wonder

The residents of Łódź have had an opportunity to visit the revitalised EC-1 complex located on Targowa Street in Łódz. The building complex won a national competition for Building of the Year in 2013. The revitalised facilities of the former thermal power plant will be used for cultural and artistic events. The power station won 8,000 votes of internet users and was unrivaled in its march to victory. The building is part of a new centre in Łódź and is a great example of the revitalisation of post-industrial architecture. The first parts of the rejuvinated thermal power plant, a planetarium and machine hall, will open in the middle of this year.
wiadomosci.onet.pl

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Discovery of the Year

March 24, 2014
Pre-Columbian Discovery

Pre-Columbian Discovery

US Archaeology magazine reported that the Polish discovery of a tomb in Peru is one of the top discoveries of 2013. The team was led by Dr. Miłosz Giersz of the Institute of Archaeology and the Centre for Pre-Columbian Studies of the University of Warsaw. The research project in Huarmey, where the tomb was discovered, is one of nine research projects carried out in the Andes by the Centre for Pre-Columbian Studies. The tomb discovered by Giersz is of the Wari culture and dates back to the eighth century AD and is located 300 km north of the capital Lima. The objects found in the tomb include richly ornamented jewellery, luxury goods imported from remote parts of the empire, including obsidian and decorated ceramics, and a uniquely decorated ceremonial kero mug made of white stone. The tomb probably belonged to a wife of one of the rulers of the empire, which later laid the foundations of the Inca Empire. So far all known remains of tombs of the rich elite of this culture have long been looted or destroyed. The Polish archaeologists were the first to have an opportunity to examine an intact and complete tomb, belonging to the high aristocracy of Wari.
wiadomosci.gazeta.pl

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