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Bust of Maria Skłodowska-Curie unveiling ceremony

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 A message from our President, General Lord Guthrie of Craigiebank

'I am delighted to be associated with the work of the Polish Heritage Society and very honoured to serve as its President. The Society's work highlights the enormous contribution which generations of Poles have made to their adopted country. Preserving and celebrating that heritage will only further strengthen the ties between Poland and the United Kingdom.

I worked closely with the Society on the project to build a memorial to the Polish Forces at the National Memorial Arboretum and saw at first hand the energy and dedication of those involved.

I encourage you to explore this website and learn about the many other projects the Society has sponsored. Do please contact us if you would like to be involved in any way'.

General The Lord Guthrie of Craigiebank GCB LVO OBE

A Debt of Dishonour is a unique documentary film dedicated Major General Sosabowski and all ranks who served in the 1st Polish Independent Parachute Brigade Group and to their Comrades-in-Arms of the 1st British Airborne Division that fought in the ill-fated “Operation Market Garden” at Arnhem and Driel during September 1944.

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The Polish Heritage Society

Bust of Maria Skłodowska-Curie unveiled at Cancer Centre, London, to mark centenary of second Nobel Prize


Maria_Sklodowska-Curie bustA bust of the Polish-born scientist Maria Skłodowska-Curie has been installed at The Cancer Centre London to mark the centenary of her second Nobel Prize. She was the first woman to be awarded a Nobel prize, the only woman to win two Nobel Prizes and the only person ever to win Nobel Prizes in two different sciences.

The bronze statue, given by the Polish Heritage Society with the support of the Polish Cultural Institute, was unveiled on March 26th at the Centre, which is at Parkside Hospital in Wimbledon, by the Deputy Head of Mission of the Embassy of the Republic of Poland to the United Kingdom, Minister-Counsellor Dariusz Laska.

“We are greatly honoured that the Polish Heritage Society has chosen our Cancer Centre for this sculpture of Marie Curie,” said Professor Trevor Powles, Medical Director.

Internationally famous under her French name of Marie Curie, which she adopted after marrying the French scientist Pierre Curie, Maria Skłodowska was born and educated in Warsaw. She moved to Paris in 1891 to study at the Sorbonne and, together with her husband began their pioneering work into the invisible rays given off by uranium, building on the research of Professor Henri Becquerel. This led to the discovery of the element Polonium, which she named after her native country.

Maria Skłodowska-Curie Maria Skłodowska-CurieThe trio were awarded the Nobel Prize for Physics for their work on radioactivity in 1903. After her husband’s death in 1906, Marie Curie continued her research and was awarded a second Nobel Prize, this time for Chemistry, in 1911 for discovering a method of measuring radio-activity.

“I am very pleased that the Embassy of the Republic of Poland and the Polish Cultural Institute in London have been directly involved in bringing to fruition this Polish Heritage Society project: a monument in honour of one of Poland’s most remarkable women, Maria Skłodowska-Curie, a figure in Polish history and science of whom we are very proud,” said Minister-Counsellor Laska.

“At present, the sad truth that far too many of us have to face every day is that cancer may affect all of us in one way or another – whether it is ourselves directly, our closest family members, friends, or colleagues. We are in this battle very much together. And this fight, as we understand it today, would not be possible without research and discoveries made by Marie Skłodowska-Curie,” he added.
Maria Sklodowska-Curie unveilingMaria Sklodowska-Curie bust unveiling featured in SW —the lifestyle magazine for South West LondonThe bronze was cast from a bust sculpted by the Polish artist Tomasz Maciej Danilewicz, who works in Warsaw and Princeton, New Jersey. The original plaster bust was on display at the Royal Castle in Warsaw for ceremonies involving the French and Polish governments last year to mark the anniversary of the Nobel Prize.

The sculpture, which is twice life-size, depicts the scientist as a young woman – just as she might have looked when she left her native Warsaw for Paris.

“The Polish Heritage Society was very keen last year to mark this important centenary in the UK because of the importance of Marie Curie’s achievements and to remind British people of her origins in Poland,” said PHS Chairman Dr Marek Stella-Sawicki. “We were delighted when we found this fine bust by Mr Danilewicz and were able to finance the bronze casting.”

The bust has been co-funded by the Polish Cultural Institute in London, part of the Polish diplomatic mission entrusted with strengthening cultural ties between Poland and the United Kingdom.

A second bronze cast of the bust is being donated to the Marie Curie Hospice in Hampstead, north London, and will be unveiled later in the spring.

Read Marie Skłodowska-Curie bust unveiling speech by Dr. Marek Stella-Sawicki, KM Chairman, Polish Heritage Society

PHS_logo_subheadMaria Skłodowska-Curie bust unveiling


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