Artur Rubinstein’s Piano

  ul. Piotrkowska 78     15 Mar 2022
Courtesy of Łódź City Council

Szytenchelm’s idea of adding a monument to local writer and poet Julian Tuwim to Piotrkowska 104 proved so popular he expanded on it, adding the figure of Artur Rubinstein to Piotrkowska 78 - the address where he once lived - a year later. Weighing one tonne, and depicting the pianist dwarfed behind a winged piano, the sculpture created a storm. A music box was part of the original parcel, and with the insertion of a two złoty coin visitors could choose a piano tune which would then be played. The tourists loved it, the critics hated it – not to mention the residents who lived directly above the incessant fairground noise. Local art figures slammed the installation, citing amateur workmanship and shoddy proportions. Ewa Rubinstein, the pianist’s daughter, threw her toys right out of the pram and at one stage threatened to boycott the city unless the statue was removed. Moved to voice her anger to the President and Prime Minister she was eventually placated by the permanent removal of the music box, and rumours persist of the statue's impending demise.


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