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Marlena Happach acting director of the National Heritage Institute!

10 of June '24

It's a new deal for the National Heritage Institute (NID) the cultural institution, whose mission is to care for monuments, their sustainable protection and set standards in their conservation, will join forces with the National Institute for Historic Preservation. The new NID will be headed by Marlena Happach.

The National Heritage Institute, the fruit of the merger of the former National Heritage Institute and the National Institute for Historic Preservation, was established on June 10 this year. What is behind this decision?

The reason for the merger is to ensure increased efficiency in the implementation of cultural heritage protection activities on a national scale, comprehensively covering the regional diversity of Poland. Increased quality in the implementation of heritage preservation projects should be achieved by making full use of the combined organizational potential and experience of the two institutions, which have a similar profile of activities, while rationalizing the spending of funds from the state budget according to a January 18 announcement by the Minister of Culture and National Heritage.

The newly-established institute's scope of activity will include, among other things, "setting and disseminating standards for the protection and conservation of historical monuments, collecting and disseminating knowledge on cultural heritage, as well as conducting scientific and research activities on cultural heritage" reports the government portal.

Marlena Happach, an architect, urban planner and long-time vice president of the Warsaw Branch of SARP, has been appointed to serve as director of the new institution. In April this year, we wrote about Marlena Happach's departure from the position of Architect of the City of Warsaw. She had held this function since 2016, after winning the competition. Immediately after leaving her job at the Bureau of Architecture and Spatial Planning at the Warsaw City Hall, the architect was deputy director for investments at the Warsaw Zoological Garden. In 2016, she was awarded the Silver Cross for her merits in promoting efforts to improve urban infrastructure and achievements in spreading the memory of Poland's recent history.

What challenges does Marlena Happach face? As Dr. Katarzyna Zalasińska, the former NID director, stressed in a communiqué published yesterday, these will include preparing a concept for the construction of archaeological warehouses and revising NID's ongoing projects to avoid duplication. Zalasińska also noted the uncertainty accompanying the staff of both teams in recent months in connection with the planned changes, the challenges associated with the system for controlling the import of non-EU goods starting next year, and the work on implementing last year's Law on Amendments to the Law on the Protection and Care of Monuments, i.e. the preparation of an application related to the search for monuments.

elaborated: Ola Kloc

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