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Restored Tadeusz Kosciuszko Monument Rededicated
MILWAUKEE – Despite a snowfall Monday, November 14th, local officials gathered for the rededication of the newly restored monument of the Polish-born American Revolutionary War hero Gen. Tadeusz Kosciuszko.
The statue of the general upon his horse is located in Kosciuszko Park at West Lincoln Avenue and Ninth Place.
The noon ceremony featured a rededication by the Restore Kosciuszko Monument Committee of Polanki Inc., Milwaukee County and the city of Milwaukee. It included a flag raising and wreath laying from the New Horizons Band & Badger Detachment of the Marine Corps League, a blessing by the Rev. Tim Kitzke of Three Holy Women Parish, remarks from Mayor Tom Barrett, County Executive Chris Abele, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee professor Donald Pienkos, Milwaukee historian John Gurda and Pabst Mansion historian John Eastberg. The Syrena Polish Dancers performed.
Pienkos spoke about the general, Gurda reflected on Milwaukee’s Polonia and Eastberg gave a presentation on sculptor Gaetano Trentanove. A rifle salute by the Marine Corps League, Badger Detachment concluded the program.
The bronze statue was created in the early 1900s through the private donations of many of Milwaukee’s Polish citizens. Italian sculptor Trentanove was commissioned to create the piece, which was cast in Florence, Italy and shipped to Milwaukee. In June 1905, the monument was dedicated.
Over the years, weather exposure caused significant deterioration of the bronze. To fund the necessary conservation work, the Restore Kosciuszko Monument Committee raised more than $300,000 through contributions from hundreds of individuals and organizations. Milwaukee County and the city of Milwaukee also contributed a combined $110,000 to upgrade the site surrounding the monument. The statue was sent to conservation artist’s studio in Ohio for restoration.
According to the restoration’s website, Milwaukee’s public television station MPTV, under the direction of Executive Producer Raul Galvan, are producing the story of Gen. Kosciuszko and the monument restoration project. The 30-minute documentary is scheduled to air on Channel 10 in Milwaukee and across the state in 2014.
For more information on the restoration, visit www.rkmmilwaukee.org.
Article appeared in the Milwaukee Post, November 15, 2013 issue.
Reprinted with permission from Milwaukee Post, Dwayne Butler, Milwaukee Post Editor