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Official statement on the situation at the Polin Museum

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The Polin Museum
The Polin Museum

Mayor Rafał Trzaskowski and Piotr Wiślicki, head of the Association of the Jewish Historical Institute in Poland, have suggested to Minister of Culture Piotr Gliński a solution to address the controversy surrounding the nomination to the director of one of the key institutions of culture in Poland.

We propose Mr Zygmunt Stępiński as a joint candidate of the Association of the Jewish Historical Institute in Poland and the City of Warsaw for the position of the Director of the Polin Museum for the next term, they wrote in the joint statement they had sent to the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage (MKiDN).

“In connection with the impasse related to the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage’s not approving the results of the competition for the position of the Director of the Polin Museum of the History of Polish Jews, having the best interests of that institution and of Polish-Jewish relations in mind, and given that the global reputation of Poland is at stake, after a difficult but exceptionally responsible decision by Professor Dariusz Stola, who said that he would not claim his rights as the winning candidate for the post of the Director of the Polin Museum of the History of Polish Jews if the Founders agreed on another candidate, we hereby propose Mr Zygmunt Stępiński as a joint candidate of the Association of the Jewish Historical Institute in Poland and the City of Warsaw for the position of the Director of the Polin Museum for the next term. This nomination has been consulted with representatives of the Jewish community, and benefactors and friends of the Museum.

Mr Zygmunt Stępiński has successfully served as the Director of the Polin Museum since March 2019. He has long experience in management, including in the area of institutions of culture, and he has enjoyed trust from his team, Museum’s benefactors, and Jewish communities, both in Poland and abroad.
We trust that Mr Minister will share our opinion about this nomination and will agree to appoint him.

Since his term as the Acting Director of Polin is about to expire, we look forward to this decision being made as soon as possible. For the benefit of the Polin Museum, and of the Polish raison d’etat, which has suffered from the continuing controversy surrounding the nomination of the Director of one of the key institutions of culture in Poland.”

Rafał Trzaskowski, Mayor of Warsaw
Piotr Wiślicki, President of the Management Board, Association of the Jewish Historical Institute in Poland