In a monumental caponier in Cytadela in Warsaw the long- awaited Museum of Katyn was opened. The traditional museum exhibition is supported by multimedia installations. Objects extracted from graves of Polish officers show the course of the crime in Katyn, including its victims

The museum of Katyn was founded in 1993 in the Czerniakowski Fort, but it had temporary character, waiting for a proper exhibition. It was created with efforts of Katyn Families, with the support of the Museum of the Polish Army. In 2010, there was a verdict of a contest for arranging the headquarter of the museum in caponier in Cytadela in Warsaw, and near the convergence of Gdanskie Wybrzeze and Rafal Krajewski street. Today it is the branch of the Museum of the Polish Army in Warsaw. It collected a few dozen exhibits, mostly the ones extracted from collective graves in Katyn, Charkow, Miednoje and Bykownia. These are, among the others, photographs, objects and archival things.

As the director of the museum Slawomir Z. Fratczak notes, in the exhibition of artefacts, evidences of the crime in Katyn, multimedia installations will be helpful, which are to support and complement historical narration. Thanks to them, a visitor becomes an active participant in the exhibition. - They will make it possible for him to gain additional information about events and heroes of the crime – says Slawomir Fratczak. The exhibits are to be presented in a traditional but suggestive way. Instead of showcases there appeared wooden, soldiers' chests, inside which objects were put in such a way, as they had been found in graves, as well as the so-called reliquaries. These are illuminated vessels with artefacts.

Beside the exhibition in caponier there is also a square on which, among the others, installations 'Warta', Blizna' and Sarkofagi' were placed. The first one symbolizes graveyards of Katyn in the form of trees, the second one is a path running like a scar through 'Warta', leading to the inside of the exhibition in caponier. 'Sarkofagi' are a few stony wagons on rails, meaningfully disappearing in the ground.


„Niedziela” 39/2015

Editor: Tygodnik Katolicki "Niedziela", ul. 3 Maja 12, 42-200 Czestochowa, Polska
Editor-in-chief: Fr Jaroslaw Grabowski • E-mail: redakcja@niedziela.pl