"Art and scandals" Top 5 Page for this destination Warsaw Things to Do Tip by matcrazy1
Warsaw Things to Do: 1,449 reviews and 3,035 photos
The Latin inscription "Artibus" (to the arts) is put above the National Gallery of Art commonly known as "Zacheta" which means in Polish encouragement. The name derives from the 19th century Society for the Encouragement of the Fine Arts which founded the gallery.
Zacheta exhibits Polish ART both old and new, both conservative and revolutionary new art. To be exhibited in Zacheta is something to be proud of. To show off in Zacheta is a must for every Warsaw visitor. The last two exhibitions I describe in my General Tips as my foundest memories. Many Zacheta exhibitions travel around top world and Polish galleries. To understand what's on in Zacheta start from the gallery bookstore and either buy or... read the exhibition catalogue although they are not always published in English. In that case, no way, you must check in advance Zacheta internet webpage in English in any internet cafe.
From time to time Zacheta is on the top of headline TV news because of... some scandals. Gabriel Narutowicz, the first elected President of the Republic of Poland was shot dead by a National Democrat sympathizer (also a painter and professor of art) on 16 December 1922, five days after his inauguration, while attending the opening of an art exhibit at the Zacheta Gallery.
In 2000 popular Polish actor Daniel Olbrychski (not my favourite; he played among others with Burt Lancaster and Simone Signoret)) entered the gallery and suddenly... took out a saber and slashed pictures hanging in the exhibition room as offending his feelings (details here). Soon later two Polish deputies demolished Maurizio Cattelano's sculpture of pope John Paul II pressed down by a meteorite as offrending their religious feelings. The lively discussion on limits of artistic freedom broke out just like now after publicizing drawings of Mahomet in Denmark and protests of Muslims.
Address: Plac Malachowskiego 3; 00-916 Warszawa; Polska
Directions: Between the Old Town (10 min.) and downtown (15 min.), very close to the Tomb of Unknown Soldier. Map here. Look for Gal. Zacheta bottom left.
Phone: 48 22) 827 58 54
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