Stunning new museum to be built in memory of murdered priest Jerzy Popiełuszko – The First News
The legacy of Father Jerzy Popiełuszko, the priest murdered by the Communist security services at the height of the Solidarity protests, should be honored in a stunning new museum dedicated to his life.
As recently announced, the concept as well as the structural design and design of the permanent exhibition will be the responsibility of Nizio Design International, a globally recognized studio based in Warsaw whose flagship works have included the main exhibition at the POLIN Museum and the permanent exhibition exhibition at the Warsaw Uprising Museum.
Redefining Poland’s cultural landscape, other notable projects in the company’s canon include the Polish Vodka Museum, the construction and exhibition of the Ulma Family Museum of Poles Saving Jews in Markowa and the Gallery old art from the National Museum in Warsaw.
The museum will be located in the north of the Podlasie region, in the village of Okopy where Popiełuszko was born.
According to Mirosław Nizio, founder and principal architect and designer of the studio, the museum will follow “a timeless form” which will allow people to “nourish” the memory and the spiritual heritage of the priest.
“The combination of architectural tradition and modernity will be achieved here with reference to the beauty and simplicity of the region’s chapels, country houses and local roadside churches,” says Nizio.
Using local materials, the passage of time will see the structure skate, giving it a distinctive character.
At the heart of the complex will be the place of contemplation – a small chapel with a gabled roof specially designed to blend in with both the natural landscape and the nearby village. Symbolically, gaps will also be left sporadically between the concrete blocks to remind visitors of a shortened life.
In addition, narrow vertical slits will allow natural light to enter the object, an effect reminiscent of stained glass windows in Gothic cathedrals or the skylights that penetrate old rural houses. In the evening, the place of contemplation gives off a glowing light in much the same way as a stone lantern.
Born in 1947, Popiełuszko attended the Warsaw Priests’ Seminary and served in many parishes. A staunch anti-Communist, his sermons were often interwoven with political rhetoric that urged listeners to protest.
Often broadcast on Radio Free Europe, its position against the system brought it to the attention of the internal security services, which placed it under close surveillance. Having escaped a previous assassination attempt, he was abducted by officers on October 19, 1984 after being arrested in his car.
Severely beaten, he was tied up and tied up before being thrown from a dam and into a reservoir near Włocławek.
The murder outraged Poles and his funeral drew more than 250,000 people in mourning.
Referring to the manner of his death, the museum will also be built to include a creek and a symbolic dam; although the latter will serve to remind visitors of how Popiełuszko died, the water will represent life and the washing away of sin.
Designed as a place of reflection, prayer, pilgrimage and education, other elements will include a reconstruction of Popiełuszko’s apartment in Warsaw, a library, a reading room, an auditorium, a café and a space for permanent and temporary exhibitions.
In addition, the names of other priests persecuted during the PRL era will also be inscribed on the wall of the outer dam.
Estimated at a cost of PLN 15-20 million, a tender for the construction is expected to be announced next year and completion is slated for 2024.