New coins mark Polish independence centenary

Photo: National Bank of Poland

New collectors’ coins commemorating statesman Ignacy Jan Paderewski are to be released on Tuesday, in a year in which Poland marks its independence centenary.

Paderewski’s is the fourth coin in a series issued by the National Bank of Poland. The series also features Józef Piłsudski, Józef Haller and Roman Dmowski.

According to the bank’s Barbara Jaroszek, a rectangular silver coin will cost PLN 130 (EUR 30, USD 34) while the round gold coins will cost PLN 1,600.

The bank is expected to mint 20,000 silver coins and 2,000 gold ones.

Paderewski (1860-1941) was an internationally renowned pianist and composer as well as a prominent statesman who helped Poland regain independence in 1918 after 123 years of foreign rule.

Hailed by his contemporaries as the greatest pianist since Franz Liszt, Paderewski achieved the peak of his triumphant career at the end of the 19th century, when his fame spread far and wide and his financial success reached phenomenal dimensions.

During World War I, Paderewski supported Poland’s efforts to win independence. In 1919, as prime minister and foreign affairs minister, he co-chaired (with politician Roman Dmowski) the Polish delegation to the Peace Conference in Paris and signed the Treaty of Versailles.

Paderewski died in the United States in 1941 and — following a decision by President Franklin D. Roosevelt — was buried at Arlington Military Cemetery in Washington. In 1992, his remains were brought to Poland and buried at St. John’s Cathedral in Warsaw.

Poland this year marks a century since an armistice to end World War I was signed on November 11, 1918, paving the way for the country to return to the map of Europe after more than 120 years of partitions and foreign rule. (vb/pk)

Source: IAR