Warsaw – Museum of Warsaw (Bronze of Józef Piłsudski)

I admit to being off on one of my slight flights of fancy with this one, but this bronze sufficiently intrigued me.

This cast bronze of Józef Piłsudski (1867-1935) is in the collections of the Museum of Warsaw and was designed in 1929. He was a hugely important figure in the creation of the Second Polish Republic and was a military man who became the Prime Minister of Poland. I was intrigued to know where this bronze, which was designed by Jan Małeta, was during the Second World War, as the Germans would have destroyed this on sight given its importance. Unfortunately, the museum’s collection database is quite poor on provenance, so I have no idea where this has been.

This is in St. John’s Archcathedral in Warsaw (I only noticed it this week), although he’s buried in Krakow (other than his heart and brain which are elsewhere).

There are no shortage of statues and street names in Warsaw of one of their national heroes….. During the late 1930s, it was illegal to criticise him in public with a punishment of up to five years imprisonment. Although Piłsudski had died in 1935, he proved to be an inspirational figure to the Home Army in Warsaw during the Second World War when they were trying to reclaim the city.