Imagine my surprise.
I’ve not been out for a while thanks to the near death experience of a bad cold. It didn’t seem like long enough for anyone to mess with the city but as I approached rondo babka or “Zdenerwowany Cholera Jasna” as it is now called I could see was wrong. While I was away someone had started erecting something huge.
Giant cranes. Large, shiny, white, structural steel pointing at the sky. Virgin Galactic launch site? Giant ray-gun to zap those ignorant fuckers who keep blocking the junction? Apparently neither. According to this article from Gazeta Wyborcza it is to be a super-massive Freedom Mast sporting a Polish flag with the emblem of the Warsaw Uprising.
Now I don’t mind gigantic modern city landmarks as long as it is tastefully done, actually has some artistic merit or other redeeming features appropriate to its size and placement and is somehow properly planned (voted for even) and regulated. This appears to be none of those things and is the plaything of a couple of presumably well connected and wealthy businessmen.
The Uprising, important as it clearly was, already has a huge memorial over at plac Krasinskich, not to mention a very nice museum and goodness knows how many other smaller monuments dotted around town. Does it really need more visibility. I mean 60m high annoying visibility? The answer is no but the Uprising, like John Paul II, is one of those things you can use as a mask for exercising your own ego, like a get out of jail free card for statues, monuments and the like. Nobody is going to argue about it and most people will like it so if you’re a rich, well connected person and you want to erect a giant copy of your own penis in the Old Town Square, no problem, just make sure it’s got an Uprising logo on it or a likeness of JPII etched one one side and you’ll be good to go.
Is this just an overreaction to the amount of publicity the opening of the new Jewish Museum has been getting recently?