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In the beautifully restored cellars of the Bishop Erazm Ciołek Palace, visitors can admire 800 fragments of the most valuable architectural sculptures from all over Poland, originating from such places as St. Mary's Church, Krakow Cathedral or Gniezno Cathedral.
The exhibits include original stone elements or plaster casts of sculptures – from portals, keystones and royal tombs. Usually these sculptures – a testimony to a nearly thousand years of history of architecture in Poland - are difficult to inspect closely because of their inaccessible location.
Since its inception in 1879, the National Museum in Krakow has been home to original fragments of secular and religious buildings – mostly from Krakow – which due to destruction were replaced with copies. The Museum has also collected plaster casts of architectural sculpture elements, which could not become part of the museum collection, but which were thought to be important for the history of Polish art. In the 1920s, these collections were assigned separate exhibition space in the Town Hall Tower. However, after it had been closed in the early 1960s, almost the entire collection of architectural sculpture elements and plaster casts were stored away and gradually forgotten.
This extraordinary collection of sculptures is now brought back to life - literally "within your reach" - at the exhibition in the Bishop Erazm Ciołek Palace.
Visits for the blind or partially sighted Most rooms are equipped with objects prepared for learning through touch by partially sighted and blind visitors. Orientation is facilitated by a special audio guide route.
"Rock" music The sculpture exhibition is accompanied by "rock" music, performed on a lithophone – a rare musical instrument which was brought to Poland from Zurich specially for this occasion. On the one hand, the musical contents consist of fragments of processed and distorted Renaissance and Baroque pieces, and on the other - natural sounds of slate and pebbles. Their use results from the search for the "ancient sound" of rock, which constitutes the raw material for the exhibition.
Multimedia The interactive presentations about the collection which are displayed in multimedia booths have been designed to make the experience even more attractive. Plasma and holographic screens, in turn, present documentaries and animations.
The project received funding from the European Regional Development Fund within the Małopolska Regional Operational Programme for the years 2007-2013.
Total value of the project: 878 614.02 PLN Funding from the European Funds: 364 664.35 PLN
The project was realised thanks to the financial support from the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage.