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Polish officials call for razing Stalinist-era 'palace'
November 16, 2017
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WARSAW (Poland): Two prominent members of the Polish government have expressed support for destroying the Palace of Culture, a Stalinist-era skyscraper that dominates Warsaw's skyline and stands as a symbol of the country's former subservience to Moscow.

The huge gray structure was a "gift" to the Polish people from Moscow in 1955. Some Poles called for its destruction when communist rule ended in 1989, but the clamor died down.

In the years since, many citizens have come to appreciate the building's architecture and usefulness. The high-rise houses theaters, a university, a swimming pool and various offices.

Deputy Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki, said on Wednesday that it is a "relict of communist domination" that he would like to see disappear.

"I have dreamed of this for 40 years," said Morawiecki, 49, who is also Poland's finance minister.

Piotr Glinski, the deputy prime minister in charge of culture, said a day earlier that he favors destroying the palace.

The calls by the two ministers are consistent with the broader policies of the ruling, right-wing Law and Justice party, which seeks to purge all reminders of communism from public life.

The ministers did not indicate they were taking immediate steps to have the building torn down. In any case, it would be a long process that could face many obstacles. But Morawiecki expressed pleasure that the topic was being broached.

"It's not a priority for us, but I would like something on this spot that is more beautiful, more important," he said.

Others, however, cautioned that it would be extremely expensive and difficult to remove such a massive structure that lies in the heart of the city. The skyscraper is also listed on a registry of protected historical sites.
 
Associated Press

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