Wed | Dec 11, 2019

Plans announced for moving statue marking massacre of Poles

Published:Tuesday | May 15, 2018 | 12:00 AM
Buildings in Lower Manhattan provide a backdrop to a statue dedicated to the victims of the Katyn massacre of 1940, in Jersey City, New Jersey.

JERSEY CITY, New Jersey (AP):

An accord between the city and Polish Americans announced yesterday is likely to settle a transatlantic dispute over plans to uproot a memorial that some call heroic and tragic but others complain is too gruesome for a family setting.

The bronze statue depicting a Polish soldier gagged, bound and impaled in the back with a bayonet in the 1940 Soviet massacre will be moved to a new location on the Hudson River, sparing it from storage and an uncertain fate.

Nevertheless, the develop-ment angered some members of the local Polish community who said it will desecrate the remains of the soldiers it is meant to honour.

Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop, Polish consul general Maciej Golubiewski and members of a committee that curates the Katyn Memorial announced the agreement to catcalls and shouted epithets from a group of about three dozen protesters at City Hall.

The statue sits in a plaza at Exchange Place, next to a commuter rail stop and directly across the river from Lower Manhattan. The new site is about a block south, where the statue would line up more directly with the 1 World Trade Center building.

Fulop had initially indicated he was considering putting the statue in storage while the Exchange Place plaza was being redeveloped and then making a decision to return it there or move it elsewhere. Under the agreement announced Monday, the Polish consul would be given the property for the new site for free under a 99-year lease.