THE YEAR 2005 - THE STANISLAW STASZIC YEAR COMMEMORATING THE 250TH ANNIVERSARY OF HIS BIRTH (Rok 2005 - rokiem Stanislawa Staszica w 250 rocznice urodzin uczonego)
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The year 2005 marked the 250th anniversary of the birth of Stanislaw Staszic (1755-1826) - one of the most outstanding representatives of the Polish Enlightenment. Staszic was born in Pila, the son of a local mayor. In the course of his busy life he was a priest, a renowned political author, a translator of Homer and Voltaire, a historiosopher, a scholar, a chairman of the Society of the Friends of Science in Warsaw, a founder of the Hrubieszów Agricultural Society, and an organiser of the Polish school system and industry. The Polish Academy of Sciences declared 2005 to be the Stanislaw Staszic Year - a similar decision was made by the self-government of the town of Pila. The Senate of the Republic of Poland passed a resolution paying hommage to the great Pole. Many locations in Poland, especially those featuring permanent traces of Staszic's activity (i. a. Pila, Warsaw, Kielce and Hrubieszów), prepared exhibitions, scientific conferences, popular lectures and sessions, publications, competitions and other events intent on presenting the accomplishments and significance of Stanislaw Staszic in the past and in present-day Poland. The Stanislaw Staszic Year was inaugurated at an exhibition entitled 'He lived not for himself alone', which in March this year was featured at the Adam Mickiewicz Museum of Literature in Warsaw. The exposition presented the most important motifs in the biography of the famous native of Pila - a man who harboured the deep conviction that only he who in the course of his whole existence will improve the life of others and augment their happiness, shall approach the objective of his Creator best of all. The organisers included the Archive of the Polish Academy of Sciences, the Adam Mickiewicz Museum of Literature, the Stanislaw Staszic Museum in Pila and the Warsaw Scientific Society. Two other expositions were shown in Warsaw - the Museum of the Earth of the Polish Academy of Sciences featured: 'Images of the mountains. Mountain landscapes prior to the era of photography'. A panorama of the Tatra Mountains drawn by Zygmunt Vogel in 1804, was one of the appendices to Staszic's 'O ziemiorodztwie Karpatów' (On the Deposits of the Carpathian Mts.). The Warsaw Historical Museum prepared an exhibition entitled 'Warsaw at the time of Stanislaw Staszic'; museum exhibits associated with the titular protagonist were accompanied by numerous souvenirs of famous Warsaw celebrities of the period, examples of the artistic crafts, documents, as well as plans and views of Warsaw.
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