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21 More on the World Heritage List. The UNESCO’s World Heritage Committee, meeting in Krakow July 2nd to July 12th, added 21 new sites to its list of mankind’s dearest treasures. Three of the are nature wonders, namely Argentina’s Los Alerces National Park, China’s Qinghai Hoh Xil, and Landscapes of Dauria in Mongolia and the Russian. Eighteen new cultural sites the committee has voted in Krakow as the World Heritage are Angola’s Mbanza Kongo: Vestiges of the Capital of the former Kingdom of Kongo, Brazil’s Valongo Wharf Archaeological Site, Cambodia’s Temple Zone of Sambor Prei Kuk: Archaeological Site of Ancient Ishanapura, China’s Kulangsu: a Historic International Settlement, the Venetian Works of Defence between 16th and 17th centuries: Stato da Terra – western Stato da Mar in Croatia, Italy, and Montenegro, Denmark’s Kujataa Greenland: Norse and Inuit Farming at the Edge of the Ice Cap, Eritrea’s Asmara: a Modernist City of Africa, France’s Taputapuatea (French Polynesia), Germany’s Caves and Ice Age Art in the Swabian Jura, India’s Historic City of Ahmadabad, Iran’s Historic City of Yazd, Japan’s Sacred Island of Okinoshima and Associated Sites in the Munakata Region, Hebron/Al-Khalil Old Town in Palestine, Poland’s Tarnowskie Gory Lead-Silver-Zinc Mine and Its Underground Water Management System, Russia’s Assumption Cathedral and Monastery of the Town-island of Sviyazhsk, South Africa’s Khomani Cultural Landscape, Turkey’s Aphrodisias, and the United Kingdom’s The English Lake District. The Krakow conference also enlarged the area of four already listed sites and decreased one. The separate List of World Heritage in Danger has got two new items, i.e. The Historic Centre of Vienna in Austria and The Site of Hebron/Al-Khalil Old Town in Palestine.

The Czartoryski Museum Abridged. Krakow’s famed Czartoryski Museum will reopen, fingers crossed, in December 2019. But in the meantime the public can see its most valuable items on a temporary show in adjacent Arsenal. The exhibition, called “Most Valuable. The Princes Czartoryski Collection.” displays such gems as Rembrandt’s ‘Landscape with the Good Samaritan’ and Lucas Cranach’s portraits of Polish royalty. Yet the museum’s crown jewel, Leonardo’s “Lady with an Ermine’, remains exhibited separately – in the main hall of the Krakow National Museum at 3 Maja street from May 19th, 2017. Meant as a cross-section of the Czartoryski collections, the show contains not only works of art but also rare antiquities, memorabilia connected with great men and Polish history, documents, and ancient decorative and functional art. The exhibition is to stay open till April 8, 2018. The building of the city arsenal of the 16th century stands opposite the main body of the Czartoryski Museum, across Pijarska street, and has been an annex to it since 1876, housing initially the Czartoryski Library and next, from 1975, the museum’s collection of antiquities.

Cracovia Krakow, the Ice Champ Krakow’s ice hockey team, ComArch Cracovia aka Cracovia Krakow, has won Poland’s championship for season 2016/2017, second time in row. In total the club has held twelve titles since 1937 when it prevailed for the first time. In 2006 Cracovia celebrated its centenary as the club’s football team played its first match in 1906.

Government Has Bought the Czartoryski Museum. Leonardo da Vinci’s famous painting, Lady with an Ermine, has changed hands together with the entire collections of The Princes Czartoryski Museum in Krakow. Until recently the property of The Princes Czartoryski Foundation, they have been sold to the Polish government for euro 100 million, a fraction of an estimated value, on December 29th, 2016. The deal includes some 86,000 museum pieces and about 250,000 books and manuscripts as well as the buildings of The Czartoryski Museum and The Czartoryski Library, both situated in the historic center of Krakow. Upon the occasion Poland’s Minister of Culture and National Heritage, Mr. Piotr Glinski, promised quick completion of the stalled modernization of The Czartoryski Museum and its long overdue reopening –as a branch of the Krakow National Museum which is to own its collections from now on.

Lady with an Ermine in Krakow's Czartoryskich museum

Krakow National Museum Is to Get a New Branch. The National Museum in Krakow will open a brand-new branch to display its collections of the Polish design and architecture, from fashion to furniture to interior decoration. It will be situated in the recently purchased building of Hotel Cracovia, opposite the main hall of the Krakow National Museum. The hotel, completed in 1965, is considered a good example of the Polish 20th-century modernist architecture. As the structure requires conversion and modernization, it will take years to open the new branch of the National Museum. But as early as next May the building is to host the first temporary exhibition.

Veit Stoss Altar

Stoss’ masterwork stripped, piece by piece. Krakow’s Veit Stoss’s grand altarpiece in St. Mary church, the world’s best medieval sculpture, is undergoing a thorough conservation which requires the temporary removal of its segments. Elements transferred to the restoration workshop are replaced with life-size photos showing the missing parts – cold comfort to visitors eager to see one of the top attractions of Krakow. The renovation of the 42-foot-high and 36-foot-wide masterpiece, which consists of 200 marvelous limewood sculptures, is to last till 2020 or longer and will cost well over three million euro. 


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