New Zealand Embassy Warsaw, Poland
Polish conservation experts visit New Zealand
Prof Andrzej Koss and Dr Lukasz Bednarz, renowned Polish experts in conservation of historic sites, visited New Zealand between November and December 2013.
The visit was co-organised by the Ministries of Art and Heritage of New Zealand and Poland. The professors viewed a selection of sites in Christchurch which gave them a good overall picture of the kind of challenges the city faces in the wake of the devastating earthquakes of 2010 and 2011.
Following the visit, the professors were able to offer valuable information on technologies and tools applied in restoration work in Poland which could also prove useful in Christchurch. They also discussed systems for cataloguing and storing of heritage stone and woodwork.
The initiative to employ Polish expertise came from Minister of Culture and Heritage, Hon Christopher Finlayson. The Minister visited Poland in January 2013 and was impressed by the huge reconstruction effort in Warsaw’s Old Town which had been almost entirely destroyed during the Second World War and painstakingly rebuilt later. While in New Zealand, the professors had meetings with Minister Finlayson, representatives of the Ministry of Culture and Heritage, New Zealand Historic Places Trust, Christchurch City Council and Arts Centre as well as the Polish Ambassador, HE Beata Stoczynska and Honorary Consul in Christchurch, Winsome Dormer.