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Ashes of pre-war artist and movie star wife brought home to Poland

PR dla Zagranicy
Nick Hodge 12.10.2012 13:35
The ashes of artist Stefan Norblin and his film star wife Lena Zelichowska were interred in the Norblin family tomb in Warsaw on Thursday.

Photo: PAP/ Jakub Kaminski

Urns carrying the ashes were brought to Poland from San Francisco this week to accompany jubilee tributes marking both the 120th anniversary of Norblin's birth and the 60th anniversary of his death in 1952.

Stefan Norblin's career as a painter was rocked by World War II, but in exile he carried out commissions for a series of Indian palaces, creating a a body of work that ranks as one of the most remarkable strands of Polish heritage on the subcontinent. His wife Lena Zelichowska had been among Poland's best-known pre-war film stars.

Among those to attend Friday's ceremony at Warsaw's historic Powazki cemetery was Minister of Culture Bogdan Zdrojewski, whose ministry is engaged in preserving Norblin's legacy in India.

An exhibition “Art Beyond Time: Stefan Norblin 1892-1952” is due to be opened this evening in the capital at the Wilanow Poster Museum, in the grounds of the former palace of Polish King Jan Sobieski.

As it was, the urns were discovered by a stroke of good fortune at a cemetery in Colma, San Francisco. It was previously believed that the ashes been scattered.

Caria Tomczykowska, President of the Polish Arts and Culture Foundation in San Francisco (PACF), and a key lender to the current exhibition, brought the ashes over with the consent of Stefan Norblin's only son, Andrew Norblin.

Poland's Ministry of Culture is supporting the restoration of Stefan Norblin's murals at the Umaid Bhawan palace, a property in Rajasthan that belongs to the Maharaja of Jodphur, who himself has loaned pieces to the current show.

The Polish premiere of a documentary film entitled Chitraanjali:Stefan Norblin in India, directed by Malgorzata Skiba will follow tonight's exhibition opening.

“Art Beyond Time: Stefan Norblin 1892-1952” builds on an exhibition held in 2011 at the municipal museum in Stalowa Wola, south east Poland. (nh)

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