Olga Boznańska in Warsaw

Portrait by Olga Boznańska

Portrait by Boznańska

A new temporary exhibition at the National Museum in Warsaw is fascinating for several reasons. It is the first such comprehensive display of Olga Boznańska’s paintings staged by the museum. Her art is shown in a broader international context of artwork by foreign artists who influenced her work or were inspired by her. In addition to Boznańska’s 150 paintings, the exhibition also features a collection of a few dozen photographs, sketchbooks and a special space arranged with original objects from the artist’s studio. Last but not least, the event is the result of successful collaboration between the National Museums in Warsaw and Kraków, the two principal art institutions in Poland which seem to have finally overcome their long-standing rivalry; this began with last year’s exhibition dedicated to the Gierymski brothers. The museums are now making a concerted effort to promote Poland’s artistic heritage. Olga Boznańska (1865-1940) occupies an exceptional place in the history of Polish art. She was one of the first Polish professional artists who was active and recognised internationally. She lived in Kraków, Münich and Paris, had clients from various countries, displayed her work in numerous European cities as well as in America, received awards and was a member of both Polish and international artistic associations. She dedicated her life to paining, predominantly portraits. She left just a few still lifes and never painted landscapes in the open air. The only outdoor scenes she ever depicted showed views from her studio window. Professor Wiesław Juszczak wrote that Boznańska often, “used impressionistic techniques to achieve expressionistic effects”. The exhibition can be seen up until 2 May 2015. It is accompanied by a variety of events, including lectures and talks, film screenings and workshops for children. A significant portion of the accompanying activities is available for people with disabilities. Agnieszka Morawińska, director of the National Museum in Warsaw, expects the exhibition to attract 100,000 visitors.
Polskie Radio Dwójka

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Breakthrough Cure for Diabetic Foot?

Hydrogel

Hydrogel

Scientists from Łódź have developed a new hydrogel dressing to treat diabetic wounds. It supplies a tetrapeptide capable triggering the reconstruction of damaged blood vessels and the formation of new ones. That, in turn, can decrease the number of amputations. Diabetic wound care poses a greater problem than treating any other type of sores, both in Poland and worldwide. The costs of therapy and social implications are huge. More than 10,000 diabetes-related lower limb amputations are performed in Poland annually. No currently available biomaterials can significantly increase the probability of diabetic foot healing, and its treatment effectiveness hovers typically around just 50%. This is due to the nature of diabetic wounds characterised by necrosis which results from blood vessel damage leading to nervous tissue destruction and the gradual decay of the wound area. The novelty of the solution proposed in Łódź consists in combining a long-known hydrogel dressing with a simple tetrapeptide which, when introduced into the affected body part, provokes angiogenesis, that is the generation and regeneration of blood vessels. The same compound is naturally produced in humans, but it breaks down rapidly, hence its concentration in the body is very low. The tetrapeptide, approved by the US Food and Drug Administration, has until now been administered by injection into tissues surrounding the wound. That, however, made it impossible to control the exact area of the drug action, causing sudden high concentrations followed by an equally sudden breakdown of the compound, which cancelled out the therapeutic effect. Professor Janusz Rosiak from the Institute of Applied Radiation Chemistry at the Łódź University of Technology explains that cellular tests of the biomaterial developed by his team have been successful. The dressing is applied directly onto the wound. It allows access to oxygen, constitutes a barrier against infection from the outside, absorbs effusions, ensures a moist environment, alleviates pain and, when removed from the sore, takes away necrotic tissue. The dressing enables a steady dosage of the tetrapeptide, which may prove to be a breakthrough in diabetic wound treatment. The solution has been registered at the patent office, but unless funds for further pre-clinical and clinical trials are raised, the scientists might make the know-how of their idea public.
wyborcza.pl

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Legionowo Problems

Legionowo

Legionowo

On 8 February 2015, a man and child were caught in a lift near Legionowo railway station. Even though police patrol the local PKP station regularly and scrupulously, they were not aware of a man and child shouting for help. At noon, local emergency services were informed about a problem at the station. The fire brigade came to the station and found a man and 2-year-old toddler trapped in a near-by lift. Fortunately, the fire-fighters managed to open the doors and rescue them. Hobby.pl reports that local services continue to be informed about the lift and the fact that it does not work, mostly due to vandalism. The town authorities are now wondering how to solve the problem and are planning to have CCTV cameras installed by the end of the year.
hobby.pl

Co-working in Poland

Will It Work in Poland?

Will It Work in Poland?

If you cannot afford to rent an office and for whatever reason do not want to work at home, you can always consider renting a desk in a co-working area. According to online magazine deskmag.com, approximately 300,000 people worked in nearly 6,000 such spaces worldwide at the end of 2014. Co-working started off in Poland in 2009 and the number of these shared offices has been growing systematically since then. Unsurprisingly, mainly in major cities, where there is sufficient demand to make the business economically viable. At present, half of an estimated one hundred or so Polish co-working spaces are situated in Warsaw. It is not only typical co-working firms that offer desks for rent: Idea Bank, which positions itself as a bank for entrepreneurs, has also decided to provide co-working services. Typically, against payment of a low fee and without the need for a long-term contract, you can expect a desk, access to office equipment, wi-fi and coffee. It is possible to rent a conference room if needed. Co-working companies also offer office administration services. You can register your business at a co-working firm address, have correspondence sent there and simply show up just to pick up your letters without actually working at the place. Some companies want to distinguish themselves from competitors and build client loyalty by offering something special. It can be anything from a free home-made cake sure to attract those with a sweet tooth to an event corresponding to the declared interests or professional profiles of co-workers. Low costs and flexibility are the principal advantages of co-working. Additionally, if you like working among people, co-working spaces can be appealing. Even if occasionally the noise level might prove a disadvantage, you are likely to meet freelancers with a variety of skills and casual chat at the coffee machine can inspire new business ideas.
Puls Biznesu

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Death for Dog Rescuer

Beware of Manholes

Beware of Manholes

The tragedy took place on one Saturday morning in March 2009 in Łódź. Pedestrians informed the sanitary engineer of the city that a dead woman.was found in a electrical-heating well in the city centre. According to the police, she went down the well to rescue her dog. The engineers who arrived on the scene witnessed a horrible sight. The frightened and panicking 3-month-old dog was running around inside the well barking and howling and the woman was caught upside down the 5-metre well. Firefighters and the ambulance service were called out immediately. “One of them went into the well with help of mountain equipment,” recalled Artur Michalak, spokesman for Łódź fire brigade. Unfortunately, the woman had died.

Innovative Operation in Poland

Hand Transplant

Hand Transplant

Specialists from the Department of General and Transplantation Surgery of Warsaw Medical University (Teaching Hospital of the Infant Jesus in Warsaw) conducted, for the first time ever in Poland, a cross kidney transplantation from living unrelated donors. The operation was a success. “It is the culmination of our hard work,” admit the doctors. They are already preparing for even more complicated surgery because they want to make the transplantation not between two but between several dozen couples (chains). The first kidney transplantation was performed between two couples. Men wanted to donate their kidneys to their partners but they could not do so because of incompatible blood types, cross match test and other qualification procedures. The couples had to exchange (replace) their kidneys to be qualified for transplantation from unrelated living donors. Such treatments are allowed in Poland. The Teaching Hospital of the Infant Jesus in Warsaw has been preparing for this transplantation for three years. In the United States cross transplantations have been performed for many years and carried out simultaneously even among several dozen pairs. However, this method requires the coordination of many transplant centres and such transplantations have not yet been performed in Europe. 40% of all transplants from living donors take place in the Teaching Hospital of the Infant Jesus in Warsaw. In 2014 there were 55 such transplants carried out in Poland.
wiadomosci.wp.pl

Great Architecture from Poland

POLIN Museum

POLIN Museum

The Silesian Museum in Katowice, the Philharmonic Hall in Szczecin, and the POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews in Warsaw have entered prestigious “Mies van der Rohe” best building competition. The winner will receive the title of best European building of the last two years. The five finalists will be announced in May, and in February, we will know the name of the winner. The best building will be awarded €60,000. The Museum of the History of Polish Jews is among the favourites for the main prize. Last time, the “Mies van der Rohe” award went to the Harpa building in Reykjavik, which contains three concert halls and a conference hall. It was designed by architects from Henning Larsen Architects and Studio Olafur Eliasson. The prize is awarded by the European Commission, European Parliament and the Mies van der Rohe Foundation in Barcelona, and is considered to be the most prestigious awards in contemporary architecture. Its patron, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe (1886-1969), was one of the most important architects of the 20th century. The prize has been awarded every two years since 1987.
wyborcza.pl