Poland’s President Bronislaw Komorowski has unveiled a monument to the great pianist and statesman Ignacy Jan Paderewski in the city of Poznan.
In his speech, the President recalled the pianist’s role in the revival of the Polish state after the regaining of independence in 1918: “Paderewski used to say that Poland is his only party. He kept stressing that Poland is our common cause and that it should be respected, irrespective of one’s political sympathies and party affiliation. This is a message relevant for all of us today’ » the president said.

A legendary piano virtuoso, Paderewski is remembered for his wide-ranging patriotic and political activities. He was the prime minister and foreign minister of Poland in 1919, and represented Poland at the Paris Peace Conference in 1919. After the outbreak of World War Two, he collaborated with the Polish Government-in-Exile and soon afterwards emigrated to the United States. When he died in 1941 President Franklin D. Roosevelt ordered to lay him to rest at Arlington Military Cemetery in Washington. In 1992 Paderewski’s remains were brought to Poland and buried at St John’s Cathedral in Warsaw.

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