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    Poor Foreman’s Bench in Wetlina: monument to the Man of the Forest and Mountains has been unveiled

    On May 13th, a unique tribute to the Man of the Forest and Mountains was unveiled in Wetlina (Cisna Forest District), in the form of a bench with the figure of Władysław Nadopta, better known as Poor Foreman (Polish: “Majster Bieda”). He was once a lumberjack and a collector of forest treasures in the Bieszczady Mountains, and his fame was brought about by the song “Majster Bieda” written by Wojciech Belon and performed by the Wolna Grupa Bukowina.

    the song “Majster Bieda” written by Wojciech Belon and performed by the Wolna Grupa Bukowina.

    The bench was born out of a social initiative led by Agata Basaraba and Andrzej Łukaszczuk. Through public fundraising, funds were gathered for the casting and installation of the sculpture. The idea was supported by the Cisna Forest District and the Bieszczady Mountain Search and Rescue Group (GOPR), and the sculpture was crafted according to the design by Prof. Jacek Kucaba from the Academy of Fine Arts in Krakow. The bench was placed in an area provided by the Cisna Forest District at the entrance of the tourist trail leading to Przełęcz Orłowicza.

    “I was fully in favor of this social initiative because Władysław Nadopta is a legend, an embodiment of a man who lived off the forest and was closely connected to it. However, we should perceive this monument as a tribute to the Bieszczady people of the past, who lived by gathering berries, mushrooms, and forest resources,” says Jan Podraza, the forest district manager of Cisna.

    The unveiling ceremony was attended by tourists, GOPR members, foresters, and residents of Wetlina. The sound of the Carpathian trembita welcomed the gathering on the roadside. Andrzej Potocki, the author of the book “Majster Bieda, czyli zakapiorskie Bieszczady,” and a documentary about Władysław Nadopta, delivered a commemorative speech. The bench was officially unveiled by Tadeusz Nadopta, Władysław’s son. The official part concluded with a choral performance of the song “Majster Bieda” in collaboration with the Wolna Grupa Bukowina.

    In the evening, a live concert by the Wolna Grupa Bukowina took place at the PTTK facilities in Wetlina, accompanied by a meeting of Bieszczady enthusiasts.

    Bieszczady Mountains icon

    The legendary Poor Foreman – Władysław Nadopta – was a humble man born in Lviv on May 15th, 1922. After wandering during the war, he ended up working as a miner in Silesia. He arrived in the Bieszczady Mountains in the 1960s and remained there for the rest of his life.

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