Monument of Nicolaus Copernicus

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Nicolaus Copernicus Monument - a monument in Warsaw is the work of the Danish sculptor Bertel Thorvaldsen. Sculpture, cast in bronze in 1822, was installed in front of the Staszic Palace on the Krakowskie Suburb Street from 1828 to1830.
The sculpture depicts the astronomer seated, holding an armillary sphere in his left hand and a compass in his right.
Tsarevich Konstantin Pavlovich solemnly opened the monument to Copernicus by Thorvaldsen in Warsaw on May 11 (24), 1830. The following words were carved on the pedestal of this first monument to the great scientist:

Solis stator
Terrae motor»
"Stopping the Sun.
Moved the Earth."

Now there are inscriptions on the pedestal on both sides: on the left - "NICOLAO COPERNICO GRATA PATRIA" (lat. "Grateful fatherland to Nicolaus Copernicus"), and the right - "MIKOŁAJOWI KOPERNIKOWI RODACY" (Polish "Compatriots to Nicolaus Copernicus").
The monument was erected at the expense of Stanisław Staszic, a Catholic priest and representative of the Polish Enlightenment. Still, representatives of the Polish clergy were not present at the grand opening of the monument since Copernicus' book "De revolutionibus orbium coelestium" ("On the Conversion of the Heavenly Spheres") was banned by the Vatican Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith in 1616.
During the Second World War, the German occupation authorities, instead of inscriptions in Latin and Polish, made an inscription in German on the monument "To Nicolaus Copernicus from the German people." On February 11, 1942, Maciej Aleksey Davidovsky removed the German description. In response to this, on February 21, the Germans released the monument to Jan Kilinski in the National Museum.[2] After that, Davidovsky and his comrades wrote on the wall of this museum "Varshavians - I am here. Jan Kilinski" and on March 13, attached a sign to the monument to Copernicus with the inscription: "For the demolition of the monument to Kilinski, I extend the winter for two months. Copernicus".
In 1943, the Germans solemnly celebrated the 400th anniversary of the death of the "great German scientist" Copernicus. In protest, young Polish poets from the Art and Nation group decided to lay a wreath at the monument to Copernicus, which the Germans now specially guarded. The wreath was laid by Vaclav Boyarsky, Zdzisław Stroinsky took photographs, and Tadeusz Gajcy covered the rally with a pistol. Leaving the chase, Boyarsky stumbled upon a patrol and was mortally wounded, and he died in a prison hospital. The arrested Stroinsky managed to destroy the film and then prove that he, a provincial, ended up in Warsaw by accident and had nothing to do with the action.
After the Warsaw Uprising, the monument was taken out for melting down but was found in the city of Nysa.

Last Updated: 29 April, 2022