23 February 2015

Museum of Warsaw – gem of the Old Town

Warsaw, Poland

The Museum of Warsaw thanks to the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage and the Norway Financial Mechanisms launched its modernization programme. The aim of the project is to protect, preserve and make the Polish cultural heritage accessible for future generations.The investment will be implemented from 2014 to 2016 in the very center of the city, within the historic part of the Old Town inscribed into the UNESCO World Heritage List.

The comprehensive project provided revitalization and revalorisation of the eleven historical tenement houses, which house the Museum of Warsaw, situated on the Old Town northern frontage damaged in 85% during the World War II. The Old Town near-total reconstruction, in its historical and urban structure was an important achievement which significantly influenced the modern conservation theories. The rebuilding on the scale of entire historical city is recognized as an unusual European experience: strength and determination of all nation in reconstruction of Polish culture’s testimonial which resulted in appreciation of international community.

The Market Place considered as a heart of historical area of Warsaw is an emblematic example of meticulous restoration which become a symbol of local and national identity. Established in 1936, Museum of Warsaw was located in the most prestigious part of The Market Place, The Dekret’s Side. This is a valuable example of seventeenth-century bourgeois architecture, especially valuable because the most part of historic substance survived here (inter alia the cellars and vestibules, most of the facades, and even some interiors).

The first post-war modernization constitutes an important historical fact and symbolizes a new model of the museum’s narration. The respective parts of the projects are mutually coherent and inseparable – they stem from, on the one hand, the guidelines and recommendations of the Heritage Protection Department and, on the other hand, from the necessity to adjust the Museum to the needs of contemporary museology.
The conservation and digitization concerns the most precious part of the museum’s collection, including paintings, graphics and silverware. The diversified project of modernization works aims to introduce a new optimal spatial arrangement which will respect the historical substances of the building, such as architectural details, interior’s design and construction materials. The permanent exhibition will be designed to meet the needs of people with disabilities.

The total value of the project is 12 397 956 EUR (53 407 915 PLN), 10 072 127 EUR (43 388 712 PLN) comes from the City of Warsaw), 2 325 829 EUR (10 019 203 PLN) is financed by Norway Financial Mechanism.

For more information please contact Ms. Anna Zasadzińska, Commissioner for UNESCO World Heritage, email address: [email protected]

Photo 1: Museum Front in a 3D-model
Photo 2: panorama photo of marketsquare front by Juliusz Barwik
Photo 3: wooden ceilings detail