The PKiN would not win any beauty contests but it does have a certain Stalinist charm and balance that was deeply upset by the addition of a collection of massive “Zepter” adverts encircling the lower roof above the entrance to the Sala Kongresowa.
These appeared about a year or more ago, seven big, ugly, unimaginative and very much in your face billboards staring down at Emilii Plater. Heaven only knows how permission was gained to do such a thing. Can only be friends in high places, large contribution to party funds or both but they went up and stayed up.
We should be grateful for Euro 2012 and the fan zone because a part of preparing Plac Defilad was to remove the Zepter ads and leave the billboards plain white. I was expecting them to be used for projections or ads from the sponsors but nothing more happened, they saw out the football championships in virgin white.
A couple of weeks ago a massive crane arrived and a few workers wielding big spanners dismantled everything and took it all away. It is now, with the exception of the equally obscene sign for the cinema, back to its former, almost original, glory. Hurrah!
I think Warsaw needs to hurry up and come to terms with the PKiN and either fully embrace it or knock it down. This whole attitude of “Well it’s there but we don’t like it” is holding back development of the most significant part of the city’s architecture and town planning and leading to stupid decisions like Zepter ads. My vote is to keep it, love it, restore it, use it. Make it yours. If anything, this hesitation and indifference is just prolonging the the impact of communist times, exactly the opposite of what is intended.
The money for demolition can be better used elsewhere and anyway it would only be replaced by equally naff modern versions of the same thing when the right thing to do (if demolished) would be to restore the historical city centre layout and buildings – a monumentally massive and expensive task. It’s there, you’ve let the right time for demolition slip by (1989) so let’s make the PKiN our friend and an expression of modern day Poland not a pile of Stalinist bricks.