Pretty pottery town gets cultural boost after being added to European Route of Ceramics
A pottery-producing town once feted by the American CIA is to be added to the European Route of Ceramics in recognition of its cultural significance.
Bolesławiec in Lower Silesia, synonymous with its iconic items of pottery and ceramics of the same name, will now join a prestigious ceramic list of culture which includes Prinsenhof Museum of Delft in the Netherlands, the Municipality of Faenza in Italy, known for majolica earthenware, and the ceramic producing region of Gmunden in Austria.
Certified by the Council of Europe in 2012, the European Route of Ceramics is a Cultural route which, according to its website, “aims at giving value to the cultural heritage linked to the production of ceramics and its old tradition, creating a sustainable and competitive tourism offer not only based on the artistic productions and collections (workshops and museums), but also on the whole cultural and social development that these destinations have lived over the years.”
The town will also receive 15 million PLN funding to convert its currently unused historical Pückler Palace into a ceramics museum.
Bolesławiec officials said: “The historic building will be a place to display the town’s cultural and educational offer, be a place for developing and building a sense of belonging to the local community, raising awareness of the town’s ceramic traditions as well as promoting the towns cultural heritage on the international arena.
“The Pückler Palace will be used to organise workshops, exhibitions, arts activities, displays and lectures and lessons in making and decorating ceramics for disabled people, children, youth and many others.”
Bolesławiec has been producing pottery since the beginning of the 19th century and the method of production and hand decoration has remained unchanged ever since.
The town is now seen as a European centre of pottery and has conquered a number of markets worldwide.
Since 1994, the town has celebrated its ceramics traditions with an annual open-air Festival of Ceramics and has hosted an annual International Ceramics and Sculpture Symposium since 1996.
In addition to a long list of prestigious clients, in 2018 the American Central Intelligence Agency came out of the shadows to place an order with the Artistic Handicrafts Cooperative in the town, asking them to create pieces of unique crockery with the agency’s logo.