The exhibition “Poland 1840-1919: Portraying the Spirit of the Nation” has been shown at Louvre-Lens Museum, whose deputy head Luc Piralla-Heng Vong was awarded the Decoration of Honor Meritorious for Polish Culture by Poland’s deputy PM and Culture Minister professor Piotr Gliński.
“Finding myself in this illustrious time, I would like to solemnly award Luc Piralla-Heng Vong the Decoration of Honor Meritorious for Polish Culture,” deputy PM Gliński said in the northern French town of Lens, adding that “the idea to showcase the masterpieces of Polish 19th and early-20th-century art was born among the Louvre-Lens Museum employees already in 2016.”
The Polish official highlighted the fact that it was thanks to Mr Piralla-Heng Vong and the entire museum staff that “an extraordinarily interesting, broad and variegated programme displaying Polish 19th-century culture was created,” including the most famous Polish 19th and 20th-century paintings.
“This exhibition is important to the museum, as it draws its strength from the Polish community living here [in Lens],” Mr Piralla-Heng Vong said.
Luc Piralla-Heng Vong’s education was as national heritage restorer. He is especially interested in Józef Chełmoński – 19th-century Polish painter of the realist school with roots in the historical and social context of the late Romantic period in partitioned Poland. Chełmoński is recognised for his monumental paintings that can be found today at the Sukiennice National Art Gallery in Kraków and at the MNW in Warsaw.
Mr Piralla-Hen Vong does not rule out organising an exhibition of Józef Chełmoński’s paintings at the Louvre-Lens Museum in the future.
Organised under the patronage of Poland’s President Andrzej Duda and French President Emmanuel Macron, the exhibition marks the centenary of the signing, on September 3, 1919, of the agreement between France and Poland “relating to emigration and immigration”.
The exhibition takes the visitor on a comprehensive and engrossing journey through Poland’s modern history starting on the days of the country’s downfall in 1795, the period of Napoleonic Wars and over a century-long era of partition by Russia, Prussia and Austria. The journey ends on a high note with Poland regaining its independence on November 11, 1918.