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Minister inspects new European Solidarity Centre HQ

PR dla Zagranicy
Nick Hodge 18.08.2014 13:40
Minister of Culture Malgorzata Omilanowska has previewed the new headquarters of the European Solidarity Centre in Gdansk.

Minister of Culture Malgorzata Omilanowska (C) with the director of European Solidarity Centre Basil Kerski (R). Photo: PAP/Piotr Pedziszewski

The centre, which is due to open on 30 August, will house a permanent exhibition, space for temporary exhibitions, as well as a library, a reading room and extensive conference space.

Photo: PAP/Piotr Pedziszewski

Although primarily devoted to chronicling the history of the Solidarity trade union, which emerged in Gdansk in August 1980, the centre also explores parallel dissident movements in the former Eastern Bloc.

In 2005, former president Lech Walesa and President of the European Commission Jose Manuel Barroso were among 29 signatories who declared that the ESC should be a world centre for “the ideas of freedom, democracy and solidarity.”

The EU provided 38.4 million euros for the construction of the building, over half of the funds needed. The Ministry of Culture has funded the permanent exhibition at the centre.

The winning design for the building was chosen in 2007 in an international competition, with Polish architectural office FORT Architects picked. The walls of the centre are intended to evoke a ship's hull, alluding to the genesis of Solidarity in Gdansk's shipyard. (nh)

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