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Komorowski unveils statue of pianist and patriot Paderewski

PR dla Zagranicy
Nick Hodge 07.05.2015 08:40
President Bronisław Komorowski, who is seeking re-election for a second term on Sunday, has unveiled a monument to the great pianist and statesman Ignacy Jan Paderewski in the city of Poznań.
President Bronisław Komorowski unveils the statue of Ignacy Paderewski in Poznań. Photo: PAP/Jakub KaczmarczykPresident Bronisław Komorowski unveils the statue of Ignacy Paderewski in Poznań. Photo: PAP/Jakub Kaczmarczyk

He recalled his role in the revival of the Polish state after the regaining of independence in 1918.

“Paderewski used to say that Poland is his only party. He kept stressing that Poland is our common cause and that it should be respected, irrespective of one’s political sympathies and party affiliation. This is a message relevant for all of us today’, the president said.

A legendary piano virtuoso, Paderewski is remembered for his wide-ranging patriotic and political activities.

During World War One he organized relief for war victims and conducted negotiations at the highest level. His signature as Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of newly-independent Poland is on the Treaty of Versailles of 1919.

After the outbreak of World War Two, he worked closely with the Polish Government-in-Exile and soon afterwards emigrated to the United States where he fought for the Polish cause.

He died in 1941 and, following a decision by President Franklin D. Roosevelt, was buried at Arlington Military Cemetery in Washington.

In 1992, at the request of President Lech Wałęsa, Paderewski’s remains were brought to Poland and buried at St John’s Cathedral in Warsaw.

Paderewski also entered the annals of history as a talented composer, primarily of piano music. His opera ‘Manru’ remains, to this day, the only Polish opera produced at the Metropolitan. (mk/nh)

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