Three Poles awarded French Order of Arts and Letters

The French ambassador to Poland, Pierre Levy, awarded the Order of Arts and Letters to actor Wojciech Pszoniak, former Minister of Culture and National Heritage Malgorzata Omilanowska and art historian Piotr Skubiszewski in Warsaw, on Tuesday.

"Through your commitment, you have contributed to the development of French-Polish relations and the presence of French culture in Poland," said the ambassador during the decoration ceremony, which took place at the headquarters of the French ambassador.

The Order of Arts and Letters is awarded by the French Minister of Culture in recognition of significant contributions to the arts, literature, or the propagation of these fields. The order was established in 1957.

Malgorzata Omilanowska is an art historian and professor of humanities, and served as Minister of Culture and National Heritage during the years 2014-2015.

Piotr Skubiszewski is an art historian and a professor at the University of Warsaw and the University of Poitiers. In 1998, he became a corresponding member of the Polish Academy of Sciences. In 1994, he was awarded an honorary doctorate by the Catholic University of Lublin, and in 2003 he was awarded an honorary doctorate by the University of Poitiers. He is also a Knight of the Order of Polonia Restituta and, in 2012, was awarded the Gold Medal for Merit to Culture – Gloria Artis.

Actor Wojciech Pszoniak was born in Lviv in 1942, but grew up in Gliwice, southern Poland. Among other films, he performed in "Wedding", "Promised Land", "Danton" and "Korczak", all directed by Andrzej Wajda. Since 1978, he has acted in French theatres, as well as on London stages.

Present at the ceremony were Maja Komorowska, Andrzej Seweryn and Daniel Olbrychski, respected figures in modern Polish cinema.