An online fundraising campaign to finance the placement of General Władysław Anders’s bust at the UK’s National Army Museum, to commemorate the 50th anniversary of his death, has been launched.
The Museum intends to open an exhibition focused on the Italian campaign of WWII. Justin Maciejewski, Director General of the National Army Museum, who has Polish roots, would like to highlight the role of the Polish II Corps that fought under the command of General Anders in the campaign.
According to Mr. Maciejewski, the placement of General Anders’s bust at the Museum, which welcomed 234,000 visitors in the 2018-2019 fiscal year, would greatly contribute to the popularisation of knowledge about the Polish contribution to the allied forces’ efforts during WWII.
The organisers of the initiative are hoping to place the sculpture at the National Army Museum in the spring of 2021.
General Władysław Anders was the commander of the Polish Army in the Soviet Union, and subsequently the Polish II Corps, who led the winning Battle of Monte Cassino in 1944. After the war, when Poland was a part of the Soviet Bloc, Gen. Anders remained in exile in London, where he died on 12 May 1970. He was buried at the Polish war cemetery at Monte Cassino.
The bust was sculpted by the late Andrzej Pityński, a renowned artist and creator of the famed Katyń Memorial in Jersey City, USA.
The sculptor Andrzej Pityński died on Friday, 18 September 2020.
Polish Minister of Culture and National Heritage, Piotr Gliński, tweeted on Saturday: “Andrzej Pityński, the most renowned Polish sculptor in the USA, author of numerous monuments, both monumental and smaller-scale pieces, creator of the Katyń Memorial in Jersey City, recipient of the Order of the White Eagle, passed away. May he rest in peace.”
Andrzej Pityński was born in Ulanów, south-east Poland. His parents actively participated in the anti-communist resistance movement. He graduated from the Academy of Fine Arts in Kraków. In 1974, he left for the United States, where he worked and studied sculpture. His most famous piece is the Katyń Memorial, located at the Exchange Place in Jersey City, near the mouth of the Hudson River, depicting a Polish soldier, gagged and bound, impaled in the back by a bayoneted rifle.
The Fundraising Campaign
The fundraising campaign to secure the placement of Gen. Anders’s bust at the UK’s National War Museum is organised by the Władysław Anders Institute and the John Paul II Treasury Foundation. Patrons of the initiative include the Ambassador of the Republic of Poland to Italy, Anna Maria Anders, daughter of Gen. Anders, Ambassador of the Republic of Poland to Great Britain, Arkady Rzegocki, and the British Poles online portal. The total cost of the initiative is estimated at PLN 65,000 (close to EUR 15,000).
More information at https://pomnik-andersa.pl/.