The Wawel Royal Castle in Krakow has inaugurated the ‘Year of Jan Matejko’. “After nearly 150 years, for the first time in history, we can publicly watch a sketch of the famous ‘Prussian Homage’ by the brilliant Polish painter – an icon of Polish culture”, said Deputy Prime Minister Prof. Piotr Gliński during the presentation of the sketch of the ‘Prussian Homage’.
The small painting was painted by the artist about 1874 and in 1881 was presented during the visit of Emperor Franz Joseph I to the painter’s studio. The work then became the property of a private collector and remains in his family to this day. “After 149 years, for the first time in its history, the Wawel Royal Castle is presenting the unique work of the painter to the general public”, informed Urszula Wolak-Dudek, press officer of the Wawel Royal Castle.
The event coincided with Deputy Prime Minister Gliński’s decision to allocate PLN 38 million for the expansion of the Wawel Royal Castle. This year, PLN 22 million will be allocated for architectural and archaeological investments.
By 2025, the Wawel Royal Castle will be changing its face. New underground routes and recreational paths will be created. The Wawel Armoury will also be modernised to house a complete collection of 51 copies of the flags captured at the Battle of Grunwald in 1410.
“We feel grateful and pleased that already in autumn this year we will see the effects of the contractors’ work and invite our Guests, our Visitors, to the vaults that have never been accessible. Thanks to multi-million grants from the Minister of Culture and National Heritage, the Wawel Castle is changing – with the audience in mind. We are responding to their needs, we want to continually fuel their curiosity about Wawel, making it an even more open, even more accessible place. There will be plenty of emotions, mysteries and unforgettable experiences”, said Prof. Andrzej Betlej, Director of the Wawel Royal Castle.