Picasso, Goya and Dali in Wrocław

July 29, 2014
Picasso in Wrocław

Picasso in Wrocław

Three Spanish artists, three great individualities, three intriguing personalities and corrida, for centuries associated with the social mores of the Iberian Peninsula. The exhibition of the work of three of the world’s most recognisable artists: Pablo Picasso, Francisco Goya and Salvador Dali takes place in the Museum of Architecture in Wrocław from 24 July until 16 November. The theme of the exhibition “Tauromachia – bullfighting. Between good and evil” is a bull, an animal that symbolises strength and courage. A total of approximately 200 works of the three famous Spanish artists will be on display, all dedicated to corrida. Francisco Goya’s graphics entitled “Tauromachia” illustrate various techniques of bullfighting, a tradition reaching back to the roots of European culture. As for Picasso, who was familiar with the achievements of Goya, his works express not only the youthful fascinations of but also his protest against the events that took place in Spain during General Franco’s rule. By contrast, the famous surrealist Salvador Dali saw bullfighting more in terms of magical ritual and the human confrontation with animal in its aesthetic dimension.
wroclaw.gazeta.pl

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First Job, Then Marriage

July 29, 2014
But Most Prefer a Job

But Most Prefer a Job

People without their own source of income are postponing plans to start a family. Therefore, the number of marriages has fallen over the past five years, according to Dziennik Gazeta Prawna, based on data of the Central Statistical Office (GUS). The data show that during the past year, 29,000 newlyweds did not have their own source of income and were living on solely one partner’s or relatives’ saved money. This is, however, considerably less than it was during 2002-2003, which were the worst years in this respect. According to Janusz Czapiński, a social psychologist at the University of Warsaw, the cause of these positive changes is the improvement of the situation on the labour market, although it is still extremely difficult. There are also many more adult Poles aged 25-34, who still live with their parents. In the years 2005-2013 alone this number increased by 700,000 to 2.8 million people.
fakty.interia.pl

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Kraków Speaks English

July 28, 2014
Kraków or Cracow?

Kraków or Cracow?

Nine million tourists visit Kraków every year. Over two and a half million are foreigners. Most either do not speak Polish at all or know just the basics and therefore cannot fully enjoy everything Kraków has to offer. The new campaign of Kraków Municipal Council aims to change all that. The authorities are encouraging cafés, restaurants, shops, as well as taxi companies, hairdressers and dentists who employ English-speaking personnel to take part in its new campaign. All companies and private businesses which can serve their customers in English will receive a “Please come in, we do speak English here!” sticker, which means that the establishment is recommended by the Municipal Council. Another benefit for businesses taking part in the campaign is a permanent and free of charge advertisement on the city’s official website “Magiczny Kraków” (Magical Kraków).
wp.pl

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LOT Passengers Afraid of Ukraine

July 26, 2014
No Ukraine Fly

No Ukraine Fly

The last days saw the unspeakable horror of the Malaysian aircraft disaster in which 295 people lost their lives. The plane was shot down during a flight from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur. While the culprit of the disaster still remains unknown, Polish citizens who often visit Ukraine are becoming increasingly scared of crossing the Polish-Ukrainian border. Many customers of LOT Polish Airlines have already bought tickets to Ukraine, but are now wondering whether they should stay in Poland. In order to calm their fears, a LOT spokesperson claims that there are no flights near the danger zone in Ukraine. Those passengers, however, who are travelling to Odessa, Lviv or Kiev within the next few days can change the date of their flight without any additional fees. This procedure is applicable only for tickets for flights scheduled between 17 July and 15 August. Passengers who have such tickets can choose another date within a 12-month period. This will enable LOT customers to avoid unnecessary stress during their journey. Nevertheless, to pacify those who have to fly to Poland’s eastern neighbour and are still afraid, LOT stresses that the area that is now rife with separatists is not included on its flight paths. Even flights to Far Eastern countries do not fly over the danger zone in Eastern Ukraine. Those who are flying to Moscow or Tbilisi should not be anxious: the flight paths are also safe. Passengers who want to change the date of their flight should visit the LOT official website. What is more, special telephone lines have been activated for those who do not have access to the internet.
gazeta.pl

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Mysterious Death

July 25, 2014
Shrouded in Mystery

Shrouded in Mystery

In Zawiercie, Silesia, a 21-year-old man died shortly after being examined by doctors in a local hospital. He arrived at the hospital with seemingly superficial injuries, which he attributed to an accidental fall. After being discharged, the young man left with a female friend, who had accompanied him to the hospital, to her place. The woman popped out for a while and when she returned she found her friend lying unconscious on the floor. She called for help, but EMTs were unable to resuscitate the man. The cause of death has not been determined, pending autopsy and toxicology results; however, the police have been able to ascertain that the man consumed large quantities of alcohol just prior to his sudden death. Meanwhile, friends of the 21-year-old have informed the media that the young man was assaulted by the police, which was why he supposedly had to go to hospital in the first place. The police say that there is no truth to these revelations. Nevertheless, on Saturday evening, a group of about twenty people who believe there is much more to the story, protested in front of the local police station.
tvn24.pl

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Tragic Summer in Warsaw

July 23, 2014
Watery Death

Watery Death

Since the holiday season started, 22 people have already drowned in the province of Masovia (up to the start of July); 18 of them in Warsaw or the surrounding area. Warsaw Metropolitan Police informs us that there are several particularly dangerous places on the water map of Masovia, where the number of accidents is highest. These so-called “black spots” have even been signposted for safety reasons. This year, there will be 13 new spots added to the already existing 90. The greatest number of tragic accidents has taken place on so-called wild beaches. A large number of drownings were registered last year: up to 62 in Masovia, including 37 in Warsaw and its surroundings, which was more than during the past 2 years put together. This year is also not promising to be a good year by looking at the already high number of people who have lost their lives. “Alcohol and recklessness are, unfortunately, the main reasons why people drown. Other tragic accidents are the result of ignorance, especially amongst the youngest, most inexperienced swimmers, who do not realise that calm-looking water may be rough or have a swift current under the surface,” according to Adam Struzik of the Warsaw Metropolitan Police. “Many people from Warsaw enjoy sun and nice weather beside the water. Unfortunately, every year fatal are accidents caused by a lack of concern for safety,” he added.
wp.pl

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Right-Wing Parties Unite

July 23, 2014
(c) Fakt

The Holy Trinity (photo: Fakt)

After long negotiations, three of Poland’s right-wing parties have managed to reach an understanding regarding their future cooperation. On Saturday, the leaders of Law and Justice (PiS), United Poland (SP), and Poland Together (PRJG) signed a political agreement. “It is important to know the situation in the country, but also to know what to do in order to change it. One thing is certain: the change can only be accomplished together,” said Jarosław Kaczyński (PiS). According to the signed agreement, the two smaller parties will support a PiS candidate in the upcoming by-elections to the senate. Following that, all three parties will unite for this year’s regional elections, as well as in the parliamentary elections in 2015. In addition, the parties agreed to have one candidate in the presidential elections of 2015; however, none of the politicians wanted to comment on the rumour that the presidential candidate could be SP head Zbigniew Ziobro. Earlier this week, following a string of accusations made by PiS MPs who blamed the failure of negotiations on Ziobro and Gowin’s personal ambitions, Ziobro declared that he was willing to leave the world of politics if that was necessary for the right wing to unite.
wp.pl

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Kaczyński’s Accusations

July 22, 2014
Pointing the Finger

Pointing the Finger

During one of his recent speeches, Jarosław Kaczyński of Law and Justice (PiS) criticised the Polish economy, healthcare and education systems. According to the PiS head, none of these areas are in a satisfactory condition. Rising unemployment has resulted in mass emigration to highly developed countries where career opportunities are significantly more varied and attainable. Kaczyński also mentioned that Polish healthcare cannot be trusted. Nowadays, it seems that it is more profitable to let seriously ill patients die than help them. He continued saying that the procedures of making appointments are so complicated and time-consuming that many patients have to wait months to visit a specialist. In addition, social assistance is not available to all those who need it. There are thousands of families that do not receive any support from the government and as a result, there is a large number of undernourished children in Poland. In his speech, opposition leader Kaczyński did not forget about the Polish education system and said that educational programmes in Poland need to be entirely reorganised. He said that the issue of textbooks should also be resolved – constantly changing textbooks do not improve the quality of education but only worsen the financial situation of many families. PM Donald Tusk replied to these comments. He claimed that many young people have managed to find well-paid jobs over the last months in Poland, while the level of emigration is now much lower than in 2008. When it comes to the problem of healthcare in Poland, he said that the government is currently working on a new bill that aims at improving all complicated procedures that prevent patients from obtaining the necessary care. Last but not least, he touched upon the issue of social assistance. He explained that the amount of income per family has been raised so as to enable more citizens to receive financial benefits. According to The Economist, Tusk is the one who is correct. As the magazine reports, Poland is treated by most European countries with great respect due to the progress it has made during the global economic crisis.
wyborcza.pl

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PLN 64m Marilyn Monroe Pictures

July 20, 2014
Marilyn Monroe

Marilyn Monroe

Recently, over 3,000 photos of Marilyn Monroe and other stars taken by Milton Greene were sold for the record sum of PLN 6.4m at an auction in Warsaw. The pictures were owned by the Foreign Debt Service Fund for twenty years. The auction took place at the DESA Unicum auction house. The whole collection was put up for sale as one catalogue item for the starting price of PLN 5m and was bought by Wrocławskie Przedsiębiorstwo Hala Ludowa for the city of Wrocław. The purchaser will donate the previously unseen photographs to a public collection, and keep 100 chosen pictures for itself. This was the result of negotiations between the Polish Ministry of Finance and the Polish Ministry of Culture and National Heritage. The collection belonged to the Foreign Debt Service Fund since the mid 1990s and after the liquidation of the Fund, some of the pictures were sold at two auctions organised by DESA Unicum at the end of 2012. Then, during a public auction, nearly 400 pictures were sold for a total amount of PLN 3.8m with a photograph of Marilyn Monroe wearing a ballet dress fetching a staggering PLN 69,000. Milton H. Greene was a famous American fashion photographer and he took thousands of pictures of Marilyn Monroe in a variety of situations. His collection includes pictures from photo sessions, movie sets, and private situations.
biztok.pl

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Mother Refuses to Accept Son’s Death

July 18, 2014
Heartbreaking

Heartbreaking

According to doctors, 17-year-old Kamil died on Friday, after suffering serious injuries in a car accident. His father has agreed that the teenager’s organs should be donated for transplantation. Kamil’s mother, however, refuses to accept that he has passed away and demands that the death certificate is annulled, so that she can move her son to another medical facility for treatment. For the last few days, a group of people who knew Kamil has been demonstrating in front of the hospital in which the 17-year-old died. The protesters do not believe that their friend is brain-dead and say that his doctors are too eager to go ahead with the transplants. According to friends of Kamil, he is about to be “murdered for his organs”, which is why they “came to make sure that the doctors knew that someone was watching”. Kamil’s father says that even though he understands his ex-wife’s position, he believes the doctors when they tell him that nothing can be done for his child. He adds, “If the doctors could transplant Kamil’s organs, they would be able to save other people’s lives, and, in that way, Kamil would live on, his heart beating in another person”. The doctors have assured the mother that no steps would be taken without both parents’ consent.
tvn24.pl

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