It is not the case at all that Szczecin is a puzzle to Poland simply because Poland has not studied its own history and geography sufficiently and does not like puzzles. The problem is more profound. For years Szczecin was a puzzle to itself. Even today it is still not sure of itself. Of its raison d’être. Of its place on the country’s map, in the country’s history, and in its plans.
Today’s presence of museums in Polish cities demands redefinition of their role and reignition of public debate on it. This debate must be attended by museum workers, architects, urban planners, conservators, but also local government officials and anthropologists of culture.
Today’s Perm is a city which defies the post Soviet misery with an impressive determination, building its identity on ideas, culture and museums. It is ever more boldly reaching for the title of the creative and cultural capital of Russia, unperturbed by the seemingly inviolable primacy of Moscow and St. Petersburg
Did one of the smallest (roughly 170,000 inhabitants) cities designated European Capital of Culture rise to the challenge, made all the more difficult by the fact that it happened in unusual circumstances – in the year of Romania joining the European Union?