From the Niagara falls to Rio de Janeiro’s statue of Christ the Redeemer, the colours of Poland light up to mark 40 years since historic pro-democracy agreements
Monuments all over the world have lit up with the colours of the Polish flag and the logo of Solidarity to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the trade union’s creation and the signing of the August Agreements.
The historic accord between the Communist authorities and shipyard workers led to the establishment of the first independent trade union in Poland and contributed to the fall of Communism.
Over 40 prominent statues and monuments across the globe donned white and red in celebration of the Solidarity movement’s anniversary thanks to the initiatives undertaken by Polish embassies.
The statue of Christ the Redeemer towering over Rio de Janeiro in Brasil was decorated with the special illumination on Sunday evening.
Polish Ambassador to Brasil, Jakub Skiba, told PAP: “The statue of Christ with outstretched arms, commemorating the centenary of Brazil's independence, is intended to remind people about peace, hope and dignity, and these values were also the foundation of Solidarity.
"The same values were also at the root of the actions of many millions of Poles, who in August 1980 fought for freedom and solidarity, and created the first great, independent trade union in one of the countries under communist totalitarian rule."
Niagara Falls on the American-Canadian border followed suit, with a beautiful 15-minute display of lights in the Polish national colours displayed on its waters.
In California, Santa Monica’s Pier Ferris Wheel served as a canvas for presenting the Solidarity logo.
The 40th anniversary was also commemorated in India. In New Delhi, the Qutb Minar, a minaret on the UNESCO World Heritage list, was illuminated with the Polish flag.
European capitals didn’t fall behind. Belgrade’s most important landmarks were lit up in white and red.
Huge posters dedicated to Solidarity were hung in Dublin, while Brussels’ most famous statue, that of the peeing little boy Manneken Pis, dressed up as a shipyard worker with a Solidarity scarf.