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Record numbers visit Krakow in 2012

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In spite of the credit crunch, Krakow has marked a record number of visitors in 2012, with almost 9 million people coming to the city.

According to research carried out by the Malopolska Tourist Organisation, 77 percent of the 8 950 000 visitors to Krakow in 2012 were tourists (Polish and foreign), and once again, it was the British that topped the list of foreign travellers.

All in all, 340,000 more people visited Krakow in 2012 than in 2011. The combined figure spent by visitors this year was 3.5 billion zloty (848.9 million euro).“What’s exceptionally important is the fact that in spite of the difficult situation of the tourist industry throughout Europe, including its greatest cities, we have managed to maintain a trend of positive growth, with more and more tourists visiting us each year,” reflected Deputy Mayor Magdalena Sroka, at the 20th Tourism Forum held in the city.

Of the 2.35 million foreign visitors, 26.17 percent were from Great Britain (as opposed to 20 percent last year, 13 percent were from Germany (12.6 percent in 2011), 9.4 percent were Italians (9.5 percent in 2011), 9 percent were from France (7.5 percent in 2011) and 5.9 percent were Russians (4.9 percent in 2011).

The average foreigner spent 596 zloty (144.5 euro) per person, whereas the average Pole spent 317 zloty (76.8 euro).

December 11, 2012 Posted by | News | | Leave a comment

Attack on Poland’s Black Madonna

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A 58-year-old man has been arrested after allegedly attempting to desecrate Poland’s most revered religious icon, the Black Madonna of Czestochowa.

According to police spokesperson Joanna Lazar, the man struck at about 8 am on Sunday while visiting the Jasna Gora Monastery in Czestochowa, southern Poland.

The suspect allegedly lunged forward from among a group of worshippers, throwing a pail of what is thought to be black paint over the icon.

Owing to a pane of protective glass, the icon itself survived the incident unscathed.

“The faithful are calling us with tears in their eyes, asking what has happened,” revealed Father Robert Jasiulewicz, spokesman for the Pauline monastery, in an interview with the Polish Press Agency.

“We are calming them that the painting is in one piece, and that it has not been damaged in any way,” he added.

Joanna Lazar has said that the man will probably be charged with “desecrating a religious space,” for which he could face up to two years in prison.

However, she declined to reveal any more details about the case, or the suspect himself.

The Black Madonna is understood to have been brought to Czesctochowa in 1384, but its origins are still hotly debated.

It is believed by many of the faithful that the portrait of the Mother of God was painted by St Luke the Evangelist, and was supposedly owned for a time by the Byzantine Emperor Constantine.

When the fortified monastery endured a 1655 siege by Swedish invaders, the icon became increasingly venerated across Poland.

December 11, 2012 Posted by | News | , , , , | Leave a comment

Andy Warhol exhibition in Krakow

ImageSome sixty works by Pop Art guru Andy Warhol went on show in Krakow today.

The exhibition, entitled “Contexts”, is being held at the International Cultural Centre on the city’s Market Square.

Besides providing a rare chance to catch a large number of Warhol’s works under one Polish roof, the exhibition also provides an opportunity to explore the artist’s Central European roots.

Warhol’s parents were both Lemkos – one of the Ruthenian ethnic groups inhabiting the Carpathian mountains – and the current show has been created thanks to loans from the Zoya Museum in Modra, Slovakia.

“The iconic nature of Warhol’s art… offers a new reading of the identity and culture of the Carpathian Ruthenians, and their discovery and assimilation by American popular culture,” the museum argues.

Warhol was brought up attending the St. John Chrysostom Byzantine Catholic Church in Pittsburgh, and art historians have dwelt at length on the influence of Byzantine icons on his work.

“Andy Warhol. Contexts” runs until 10 February 2013.

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December 11, 2012 Posted by | News | , , , , | Leave a comment

   

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