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HFHR’s appeal to the Mayor of Śródmieście District

The Foundation appealed to the Mayor of Śródmieście District in respect of the recent decision of the Board of Śródmieście District, Warsaw made during the latest edition of the “Premises for Culture” initiative.

Fourteen applications were submitted in response to the lease offer for the premises situated at Grzybowski Square in Warsaw. Only four organisations satisfied formal requirements: Good Karma Association, Shalom Foundation, Stanisław Brzozowski Association and Adam Smith Center. However, the Board found that none of the four proposals for the use of premises was consistent with the Board’s expectations as to the planned use of the leased property. In its brief justification for the decision the Board failed to address any of the lease proposals made by the applicants.

The Board only mentioned that Grzybowski Square is a popular tourist destination for both Polish and foreign visitors who are aware of its connections with the history of Polish Jews and that residents of Warsaw associate this area with the complex subject of the Polish-Jewish relations. In the Board’s opinion, such circumstances must be taken into account in plans of conducting the cultural activity in this part of the city. Notably, the above remarks did not appear in the rules governing the application selection and as such must be regarded as inadmissible.

The Foundation commented: “the statement is not only arbitrary but also it seems to be surprising and incomprehensible in the light of the recent declaration of Piotr Królikiewicz, District Vice-Mayor for Culture. Mr Królikiewicz said that upon consideration of the case a nine-member selection committee decided to recommend the District’s Board to select the proposal by the Stanislaw Brzozowski Association.

“The standards of a democratic state ruled by law based on the principle of citizens’ trust to the official bodies exercising their public authority impose on the state the obligation to comply with procedures and rules, even more so if they have been formulated by the bodies themselves”, reads the HFHR’s statement.

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