During a cultural debate at the program convention of the Law and Justice party, Professor Piotr Gliński, the Minister of Culture and National Heritage, emphasized the importance of cultural development for Poland.
He stated that culture provides identity, strengthens social bonds, and fosters a sense of togetherness. Additionally, culture offers spiritual strength and moral foundations for functioning as a community. Minister Gliński also highlighted the role of positive emotions and patriotism within the culture.
The minister reminded the audience that the previous governments did not prioritize culture, allocating less than 1 percent of the budget to cultural endeavors. In contrast, the PiS government broke this trend by increasing cultural funding and raising the national budget by 100 percent. Gliński stressed the significance of state patronage over key cultural institutions and the need to support them financially to ensure their vitality.
Regarding historical memory, Professor Magdalena Gawin, the director of the Pilecki Institute, emphasized the importance of recounting the history of “bloodied lands” affected by the influence of two totalitarian regimes. The recent Russian invasion of Ukraine demonstrated the relevance and correctness of Poland’s struggle against totalitarianism. The Pilecki Institute collects testimonies related to the Russian genocide in Ukraine, reinforcing the Polish narrative of the region’s history.
The participants of the panel also discussed the need to strengthen Poland’s cultural influence abroad. They emphasized the importance of enhancing Polish soft power and establishing Polish Institutes worldwide to promote the country’s cultural and historical heritage. The directors of various cultural institutions emphasized the significance of adequate financial support to achieve these goals.
Piotr Bernatowicz, the director of the Ujazdowski Castle Centre for Contemporary Art, emphasized Poland’s cultural mission to sustain open discussions about values that are currently threatened. He underlined the importance of patriotism, openness, and tolerance as fundamental to Polish civilization and stressed the need to counteract ideological changes that undermine these values.
Michał Laszczkowski, the director of the National Heritage Board of Poland, highlighted the role of investing in historical monuments as opportunities for development. He advocated for public investment that supports owners and local authorities, rectifying the neglect of heritage preservation during the communist and post-communist eras.
“We have completed over 300 investments in the museum area. We have elevated many museums to the rank of National Museums. We implement the postulate of raising the profile of Polish culture.”
In conclusion, Minister Gliński asserted that the continued construction of cultural institutions is vital for the spiritual strength of the Polish community. These institutions form the backbone of Polish patriotism, and without them, the country would be significantly weaker in terms of security and economy. The state’s patronage extends to initiatives such as historical films and the acquisition of artworks for museum collections, among others.
The commitment of the Polish government to cultural development and the preservation of historical memory reflects its recognition of the central role culture plays in societal progress and identity formation. By investing in cultural institutions and fostering dialogue, Poland aims to strengthen its position both nationally and internationally.