Following the route of the Monuments in Małopolska’s Virtual Museums — a virtual walk
Monuments are the traces of memory, they remind us and bring back important figures and events, and constitute elements shaping the identity.
In the collection from Małopolska’s Virtual Museums, there are projects which have never been realised, the non-existing monuments the cult of which was verified by the changing times (the demolished monument of Lenin in Nowa Huta) as well as those demolished at the stormy protests of the society (fragments of the Grunwald Monument blown up by the Germans). Their traces are left on old postcards and photographs. There are also monuments which integrated into the Kraków scenery, including metaphoric monuments — Tadeusz Kantor’s living monuments.
Roadside chapels numerous in the collection from Małopolska’s Virtual Museums (figures of Pensive Christ – Sculpture: Pensive Christ, Chapel “Simon of Cyrene helps carry the Cross of Christ“) or the figure of Svetovid (the “Zbruh Idol“) are monuments of special character, particularly worshipped.
There are also mounds; their tangible trace is the commemorative spade, used while building the Piłsudski Mound.
Why not look around? What kind of monuments are there in your neighbourhood? What do they say? What is their message? Is their narration about national liberation uprisings? Who deserves to be honoured with a monument? Who deserves to be immortalised in a block of marble or stone?
In the past, monuments were erected not only in public but also in private space, as in the case of the cast of the famous “Gladiator“ by Pius Weloński which, along with the work by Bertel Thorvaldsen, had decorated the garden of the Potocki Palace in Krzeszowice… until one day it was stolen. Today the “Gladiator“ can be admired in the Zachęta Gallery and Ujazdów Park in Warsaw as well as in the Cloth Hall in Kraków.
Monuments, or the lack of them, are the traces of old conflicts and wars; (in historically difficult times bridges and monuments are demolished in the first place, the latter as the element uniting communities around a certain vision of history).
More than 900 exhibits from Małopolska’s Virtual Museums collection are a kind of lens focusing on the image of Małopolska together with its general history — the history written by important events as well as stories from everyday life. A stroll among these objects is a fascinating story, reflecting national ideas, priorities and myths.
In fact, each of these exhibits can be treated as a monument of private and public stories, important so far as they have been preserved until today and are linkers to a world which no longer exists.
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