The Polish Heritage Society
Dramatic Chopin statue unveiled in central Manchester
A statue of Fryderyk Chopin was unveiled in the centre of Manchester on 16th September, in the presence of Polish Ambassador HE Barbara Tuge-Erecinska, the city’s civic and business leaders and representatives of the Polish community.
The 2.5 metre wide statue, a stylised bronze of the composer seated at the piano, was created by Polish sculptor, Robert Sobocinski. The bronze – the largest statue of Chopin outside Poland includes material dating from 1831, the year of the November Uprising by Poles against the Russian Empire.
“We are very proud to see this striking monument to one of Poland’s greatest sons here in the heart of one of Britain’s greatest cities, which has been home to many Poles over the years,” said Andrzej Person, Chairman of the Polish Senate Committee for Migration and Polish Diaspora Abroad.
“It is a fitting way to mark Poland’s presidency of the European Union, which has brought our two countries even closer together,” said HE Jan Borkowski, Secretary of State in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Poland.
Ambassador Tuge-Erecinska, who unveiled the statue, paid tribute to the hard work of the Chopin Memorial Statue Committee, chaired by Christian Wewer. “We are grateful to the committee for their unstinting efforts to bring this project to fruition and to the city authorities and the generous donors without whom it would not have been possible,” she said.
The Polish Heritage Society (PHS) UK, through its Chairman Dr Marek Stella-Sawicki and Deputy Chairman Dr Andrew Meeson-Kielanowski, acted as an advisor to the Manchester based committee.
“The PHS UK is delighted to have supported this project, which rounds off the celebrations of the bicentenary of Chopin’s birth last year,” Dr Stella-Sawicki said.
The statue stands on a refurbished square outside Centurion House on Deansgate in the commercial heart of Manchester. Michael Oglesby, Chairman of Bruntwood, which owns the building and supported the project, praised the statue as an important addition to the city’s landmarks.
Among other distinguished guests attending the splendid event were The Lord Mayor of Manchester Councillor Harry Lyons, Sir Richard Lees, Sir Howard Bernstein, Consul General Piotr Nowotniak, Mrs Zypora Frank, Monsignor Stefan Wylezek, Father Andrzej Zuziak, Mr Nicholas McLean, Mr Andrew Wilde, Sir John and Lady Timmins, Bishop Nigel McCullough, Barbara Goodwin, Claire Hickman, Professor Jonty Stockdale, Robert Sobocinski, Mr & Mrs Maryszczak.
The ceremony was followed by a lunch at Manchester Town Hall and a concert of Chopin’s piano music given by the Manchester-based pianist Andrew Wilde.The members of the Chopin Statue Committee are Norman Armstrong-Kersh, Dr Mark Stella-Sawicki, Dr Andrew Meeson-Kielanowski, Mr Christian Wewer, Sir Netar Mallick, Dr Andrew Rozycki, Mr Graham White, Mr & Mrs Kowalski and Claire Hickman.
Chopin satute in Manchester