Over 50,000 bid farewell to late Gdańsk mayor

Around 53,000 people gathered at the European Solidarity Centre (ECS) in Gdańsk on Friday to pay their final respects to the city's murdered mayor, Paweł Adamowicz.

Adamowicz's coffin was laid out on Thursday afternoon in the ECS's Winter Garden.

The 53,000 residents of Gdańsk and its environs travelled to the ECS to bid farewell to the murdered mayor, the ECS's chief promotion specialist Magdalena Mistat told PAP. In addition to local residents, family and friends, respects were paid to the late mayor by Gdańsk city councillors from all his terms of office, who had taken part earlier in a ceremonial session of the Gdańsk City Council at Artus Court.

The casket bearing Adamowicz's body was set out among white roses and covered in a large, red flag bearing the City of Gdańsk's crest. A wooden cross stood behind the casket, which was surrounded by stands bearing pictures of the deceased.

At 5 p.m. on Friday, a procesion accompanied the casket from the ECS building through the streets of Gdańsk to St. Mary's Basilica, where the late mayor will be interred on Saturday. A funeral mass, led by Metropolitan of Gdańsk, Archbishop Sławoj Leszek Głódź, will start at 12 noon. Large outdoor television screens will enable the public to follow proceedings.

Last Sunday evening, Paweł Adamowicz was murdered by a knifeman while giving a speech on stage at a national charity fundraising event, the Great Christmas Charity Orchestra. He died of his injuries in hospital on Monday. He was 53.

Flags on public buildings nationwide were lowered to half-mast as a symbol of national mourning for the late mayor. A period of mourning was decreed by the president lasting from 5 p.m. on Friday to 7 p.m. on Saturday.