Entitled Tadeusz Kościuszko: A Man of Vision, the exhibition was organised by the Polish History Museum as part of events commemorating the bicentenary of Kościuszko’s death.
The exhibition, close to the entrance to the city’s Old Town area, uses multimedia techniques to document Kościuszko’s military activities, his formidable skills as an engineer, and his private life.
Visitors can see fragments of a 1938 feature film about Kościuszko and listen to his musical compositions. The exhibition is bilingual, in Polish and English.
During the opening ceremony, the director of the Polish History Museum, Robert Kostro, described Kościuszko as “an icon of Polish patriotism and democratic aspirations,” stressing that Kościuszko was “not only respected but highly revered by his contemporaries – Poles, Americans, French and Swiss.”
US Ambassador to Poland Paul W. Jones invoked the words of President Thomas Jefferson, who called Kościuszko “the purest son of liberty I have ever known.”
“I hope that all visitors to this exhibition will come out inspired by Kościuszko’s attachment to the ideas of liberty and independence, and will commit themselves more fully to the cause of consolidating US-Polish relations,” Jones said.
The ceremony was also attended by the French and Swiss ambassadors.
In 1794, after the Second Partition of Poland between Tsarist Russia, Prussia and Austria, Kościuszko led an insurrection against Russia. During the American War of Independence, he served as a colonel in the Continental Army. He designed and oversaw the construction of state-of-the-art fortifications, including those at West Point.
He died in Switzerland in 1817. A year later, his remains were brought to Poland and placed in a crypt at Wawel Cathedral in Kraków, a pantheon of Polish kings and national heroes.