Massive statue of Polish hero takes the place of Red Army monument to celebrate independence

The statue, made of bronze, stands eight-meters high. Grzegorz Momot/PAP

A giant statue of the father of modern Poland, Marshal Józef Piłsudski, has been erected on the site of a former Red Army monument in Nowy Sącz to celebrate the upcoming centennial of Poland regaining its independence.

The eight-metre high statue of Piłsudski on his horse Kasztanka was unveiled on October 28 in the southern town. Elevated on a pedestal, the solid bronze statue, costing an estimated Eur 185,000, stands on one of the town’s main roads.

In 2015, the local government tore down the Red Army monument and laid the ashes of the Soviet soldiers killed during WWII in a local cemetery.

 Piłsudski visited Nowy Sącz in 1921, as Marshal of Poland, in order to accept the title of honorary citizen of the town, given to him in 1916.Grzegorz Momot/PAP

Designed and built by sculptor Jan Małeta after a fundraising effort by locals and financing from the city council, the statue, officials say, is a perfect tribute to the upcoming celebrations on November 11.

Ryszard Nowak, mayor of Nowy Sącz, said during the unveiling ceremony: “This square will become the place for all patriotic celebrations. We have reasons to be proud because the monument is a tribute to all who fought for a free Poland and won the struggle for independence.”

 Designed and built by sculptor Jan Małeta at a cost of around EUR 185,000, officials said it was a perfect tribute to the upcoming celebrations on November 11.Grzegorz Momot/PAP

Piłsudski visited Nowy Sącz in 1921, as Marshal of Poland, to receive the award of honorary citizen which had been granted to him in 1916.