Here the truceless armies yet / Trample, rolled in blood and sweat; / They kill and kill and never die; / And I think that each is I. // None will part us, none undo / The knot that makes one flesh of two, /
Sick with hatred, sick with pain, / Strangling -- When shall we be slain? // When shall I be dead and rid / Of the wrong my father did? / How long, how long, till spade and hearse / Puts to sleep my mother's curse?
There has been a monument to King Jagiello in Central Park since 1945 (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/King_Jagiello_Monument). About 2 years ago, volunteers began restoration work on the monument (marble base and bronze sculpture), and during this time a chain-link fence surrounded the monument; for a brief period last year, the poor king (still on his steed) rested on his side as they prepared to move him to a workshop for cleaning, repair and restoration.
I had planned already to meet a friend at the New York Historical Society museum on the Upper West Side, next to the park (they had a fine exhibit on the American Revolutionary War's Battle of Brooklyn Heights), but my friend wouldn't arrive for another hour, so I took a walk through Central Park, and on a whim I decided to check on the progress of the restoration - the weather said rain, but it was 72 degrees and sunny (the storm did come later)!
Well, I arrived in the midst of the unveiling and re-dedication of monument! The Polish Consulate had sponsored the event, and the speaker was still speaking Polish to the crowd of about 150, who themselves were mostly speaking Polish quietly to each other. There were eight people dressed in historical uniforms and dress, including three wearing the 'winged-horsemen' costume-uniforms! (The others had 18th century uniforms, and a man wearing a Second World War uniform of a cavalry captain in the Polish Army).
Another speaker gave some remarks in English, and then the eight figures drew their swords for the re-dedication, and then resheathed them, and the official part ended. People could pose with the figures for pictures, a baker brought a dozen boxes of Polish pastries (they were gone within minutes), and an older gentleman sang a folk song in Polish. The crowd a mix of old and young, with people there for the event and others who were just passing by (like me !). Patient pageantry and ceremony, and a delight to be a part of!
Afterwards, a accordionist and violin player played a waltz, and people danced, a good time. I took a lot of pictures (how could I not?), and I uploaded some of them the GoogleMaps info link for the monument ('King Jagiello monument Central Park'), so you can see them there.
I'm happy to see there is a new game on this battle and the Polish King who won it, so I thought I'd share this.
Lucky timing that you happened upon that ceremony!
I had no idea this statue was in Central Park. I'll have to check it out if I ever make it back to New York. Thanks for uploading photos.
I like this one with all the different historical costumes:
shortened link in case that crazy long one doesn't work:
- Last edited Mon Oct 31, 2016 8:55 am (Total Number of Edits: 1)
- Posted Mon Oct 31, 2016 8:54 am
King Jagiello Monument Working Group
Thank you for attending and writing up the unveiling (after conservation) of the King Jagiello Monument. This project was organized by the King Jagiello Monument Working Group which organized two days of events - a Scholarly Symposium on Saturday the 29th and family oriented events on Sunday the 30th.
The extensive conservation work was conducted by the Central Park Conservancy which utilized ground breaking methodology in certain aspects of the work.
The Consulate General of the Republic of Poland hosted the Symposium - and participated in organizing the events but was not the sole organizer - in alphabetical order these were - Józef Piłsudski Institute of America (IJP); Nowodworski Foundation; Polish American Congress (Long Island Division) (KPA-Wydział LI); Association of Polish Engineers and Technicians - Polonia Technica, St. Stanislaus B&M Parish (Manhattan) and two individuals, Prof. Krzysztof Wodiczko of Harvard University and Krystyna Piórkowska
Please view the attached link to garner a better idea of the scope of the events.