Culture Ministry wants Gdańsk Shipyard on UNESCO list

Polish Culture and National Heritage Ministry wants the Gdańsk Shipyard to be placed on the UNESCO World Heritage List.

Gdańsk Shipyard again in Polish possession

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Shipyard in Gdańsk, northern Poland, is a place where some pivotal moments of Polish post-WWII history took place. In 1970, it was a scene of workers’ strike, against which the communist regime sent soldiers. Ten years later the “August agreement” have been signed in the Shipyard. The strikes from 1970 and 1980 had a significant role in the dismantling of the system, which resulted in the fall of communism in Poland in 1989.

The Shipyard is one of the places where the Polish anti-communist opposition movement was created.

Magdalena Gawin, the deputy Culture Minister, told Polish public broadcaster TVP Info that it “could secure the memory about Solidarity forever.” The ministry is the initiator of the application for placing the Shipyard on the UNESCO World Heritage list.

“Securing the place on the UNESCO list gives all the Poles, the whole nation, a chance that the world will remember about Solidarity,” she said.

However, there are problems with including the shipyard’s area on the UNESCO list. The local development plans allow construction of “almost anything” on the shipyard’s premises, what the experts of UNESCO pointed out earlier when another application on the matter was submitted.

Vessels to be produced in Gdansk again, from 2021

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The plans give a lot of liberty in reference to the height of buildings, their purposes, and style of architecture.

Ms Gawin stressed that the area of Gdańsk Shipyard is “one of the most precious post-industrial areas in Europe.” She also added that experts from the Monuments Preservation Council, as well as Main Conservators’ Committee, agreed that it has to be secured.

Ukrainian entity Industrial Union of Donbass bought 83 percent of the shipyard shares in years 2006-2007, but in July 2018, the Polish Industry Development Agency (ARP) announced that it has signed an agreement for the repurchase of the Shipyard.

The cranes of Gdańsk Shipyard are among the most recognisable landmarks of this coastal city.