Burial site for Polish president Lech Kaczynski draws objections

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

President Lech Kaczynski died along with 95 other people in a plane crash

Thousands of people have taken to the streets of Krakow objecting to plans to bury the Polish president, Lech Kaczynski, at Wawel Castle. Kaczynski and his wife are set to be buried on Sunday. Burial spaces at Wawel castle are normally reserved for Polish kings and heroes.

Groups of protesters arrived in front of the Archbishop’s of Krakow’s house on Tuesday evening, many of them holding banners with slogans such as “Are you sure he is equal of the Kings?” and “Not Krakow, Not Wawel”. A further 26,000 people joined a Facebook group titled “No to the Kaczynski’s being buried in Wawel”.

Polish film director Andrzej Wajda voiced his opinion on the plans of the late president’s burial site, saying that "Lech Kaczynski was an ordinary and good man, but there is no reason for him to lie in the Wawel among the kings of Poland and Marshal Józef Piłsudski [the founder of modern-day Poland]." He continued to comment, saying that the decision had been “misplaced”.

Officials commented on the criticism, saying that the plans were made by both church leaders and the Kaczynski family. The current plans have Kaczynski’s burial place close to Marshal Pilsudski’s crypt.

Several of the world’s leaders and dignitaries are to attend the president's funeral, including US president Barack Obama and Russian leader Dmitry Medvedev.