Saturday, November 9, 2013

The General is BACK!


I admit, sadly, I had never heard of Thaddeus Kosciuszko before I saw his statue at the park named after him- Kosciuszko Park.  He was a national hero both in the US and in Poland because of his success during military battles.  He worked with Benjamin Franklin and was a friend to Thomas Jefferson.  He has statues in many other cities, all of them quite different.  When this statue was erected and dedicated by the Polish Archbishop, Francesco Symon,  in 1905, there were more than 60,000 people!  It was a big event for the south side of Milwaukee.

If you saw this statue a few years ago, you would have seen a green colored dingy piece of work.  Luckily, there was a fundraising campaign to have the statue repaired and it was sent away for many months, leaving an empty spot at Kosciuszko Park.  The cost was estimated at $150,000.  You can see how much work it was to restore it at this link, which has a lot of photos from the process.  Milwaukee Public Television is trying to raise enough money to air a documentary about the process.  If you'd like to help out with a donation, go to the documentary website.  UPDATE 2/1/14- the documentary aired on PBS this month, but you can still view it on youtube.

Now, as you can see from my photo, it is back.  There's some new landscaping, and the geese have already shown they approve.  I had to wade through about a hundred geese to get to the statue, so if you go see it, watch your shoes.

The statue is beautiful.  I have never seen one quite so pristine.  It will be rededicated on Monday, November 11 at noon.  This is a special day because it is Veteran's Day here, and Independence Day in Poland.  If you're able to attend, it will likely be an interesting time to view the statue and hear more about the project.


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