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Mayor of Kraków decorated with Gloria Artis Medal for Merit to Culture

The Gloria Artis Medal for Merit to Culture is awarded by the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage to people who are particularly distinguished in the field of artistic creation, cultural activity or protection of culture and national heritage. Mayor of Kraków Jacek Majchrowski was honored with the gold Gloria Artis Medal on 2 April 2024.

The medal was presented during a meeting between the Mayor of Kraków and employees of the city's cultural institutions. Combined with a concert, the event was a farewell and summary of the cultural activities carried out over the past two decades - during Jacek Majchrowski's tenure as mayor.

The work of municipal cultural institutions responsible for the development of the city's cultural life has been overseen by Mayor Jacek Majchrowski since 2002. This is the time when, taking advantage of the impulse given to Kraków by its status as European Capital of Culture in 2000, the city's position in the areas of culture and heritage was systematically developed. A network of efficiently operating and complementary city museums and cultural institutions was created, and the importance of Kraków as a city of high-class festivals increased. Our city has joined numerous international organizations dealing with culture and heritage, ensuring a high level of employment in the cultural sector and stimulating the development of related creative sectors. A system of awards, scholarships and grant programs activating local creative communities has also been established.

Caring for Kraków's heritage has also become an important area of the city's activities during this time. In 1978 the capital of Malopolska was included in the UNESCO World Heritage List as one of the first 12 sites in the world. The most important areas of activity in this regard are the system of subsidies for conservation repairs, the use of the "cultural park" status to organize the appearance of urban space on an unprecedented scale in the country, as well as active involvement in the work of the most important heritage organizations.

A distinguishing feature of the period of Jacek Majchrowski's mayorship in the field of culture is the creation of a strong framework for the functioning of cultural life based on the activities of specialized cultural units and institutions, as well as programs and budgets. Kraków's expenditures on culture and historic preservation increased from PLN 51.5 million in 2002 to about PLN 600 million in 2024. They currently account for nearly 5 percent of the city's budget, and there were years (e.g., 2014) when they reached 8 percent.

Over the past two decades, Kraków has become a strong, globally recognized cultural brand - today it is seen as a UNESCO City of Literature (Kraków was the first Polish city to be awarded this title in 2013), a city of poetry, music, art and a jewel of world heritage.

- Thank you very much for this award, which in essence honors the efforts not so much of mine, but of all the people employed in Kraków's cultural institutions. I am immensely grateful for this work - for quality artistic programs, for developing collections, art education, theaters, art galleries, historical museums, technology, for the cultural revitalization of neighborhoods, for supporting local communities, for establishing cooperation with them, as well as for the cooperation with institutions of all types at home and abroad. It is to the employees of the cultural sector that we owe the new branches of community centers and libraries, the revaluation of historic buildings, obtaining significant funds from state, the European Union, and business. I am glad that the 21st century Kraków is an artist-friendly place, and its residents can actively participate in culture from an early age," says Mayor of Kraków Jacek Majchrowski.

The gold Gloria Artis Medal for Merit to Culture was presented to the Mayor of Kraków by Minister Joanna Scheuring-Wielgus, Secretary of State at the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage.