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    Passion, hardship and love for mountains – Wanda Rutkiewicz in unknown photographs

    Wanda Rutkiewicz’s unique photographs document a time that has passed, and their heroes have often remained forever in their dream mountains. An exhibition of archival photographs of PAP (Polish Press Agency) can be seen in the Agency building (6/8 Bracka Street in Warsaw) until the end of February.

    Polish Press Agency presents a unique collection of photographs showing the everyday life of Wanda Rutkiewicz, one of the most outstanding Himalayan mountaineers, who, as the third woman in the world and the first European, stood on the summit of Mount Everest, the highest mountain on Earth located in the Himalayas (8849 m). She was also the first woman to climb K2, an eight-thousander in the Karakorum, the second-highest peak on earth. Due to the 30th anniversary of her death, the year 2022 was established by the Sejm as the Year of Wanda Rutkiewicz.


    “We see Wanda Rutkiewicz in her element, in pictures that say a lot about her life. They document her passion, showing her during her climbs and summit conquest, but they also have an added value because they show the everyday life in the mountain base, among many Polish Himalayan climbers, including Jerzy Kukuczka and Krzysztof Wielicki. Looking at the photographs one would like to be one of their characters, these photos have a magnet, they attract. These are very interesting photographs because they reflect the passion, toil and love of the mountains,” said Katarzyna Liebrecht, head of the PAP Photo Archive.


    Some of these photos have not yet been published. Eleven out of 50 photographs, obtained from Jerzy Kukuczka Polish Mountaineering Support Foundation and private collections, have been selected for presentation at the exhibition.


    “The images are after the scanning, cleaning process, described and available on our website: Here, institutions, such as publishing houses, but also collectors and entrepreneurs, can buy the rights to their publications or for other purposes. Of course, we are constantly expanding our collection, so make sure to ask about photos from specific events, venues, or people. We invite you to cooperate with us and contact the PAP Photo Archive department,” informs Katarzyna Liebrecht.


    Photographs of Wanda Rutkiewicz are the second PAP exhibition as part of the project “History of Polish Brands”. The first was a collection of Christmas pictures from years gone by, showing, among others: Christmas tree parties organized for children just after the war, or Santa Claus giving presents on the streets of Warsaw in the 70s.

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