New research in 2004 by Icons of Europe
THE SOJOURN OF POLISH
IN CANADA FROM 1940 TO 1961
A collection of original Chopin manuscripts,
including Concerto in F-minor and Mazurka in A flat - performed at
Toronto on the occasion of World TB Day 2005 - and other priceless Polish art treasures
were in safekeeping in Canada during World War II. Major issues
of international ramification delayed their return to Poland till 1959/1961.
Kept in the vaults of the Bank of
Montreal, Chopin's manuscripts, the Gutenberg Bible and the
ancient Polish coronation sword departed via New York aboard
M/S Stockholm in January 1959.
The sojourn is documented in an essay
researched and written by Icons of Europe in 2004 for the
2004/2005 issue of Chopin in the World,
the annual journal of the International Federation of Chopin Societies, Warsaw.
>> THE ESSAY:
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of this essay. The source credit should be accompanied
by the text: "Copyright © 2005 Icons of Europe, B-1380
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sources of information
Secret Canadian government files
The sojourn has been on record for some time. However, Icons
of Europe's research in 2004 sheds new light on this extraordinary episode. Among the
of information are recently declassified secret Canadian government files that
document the involvement of the communist government of Poland, the United Nations, the
Vatican and other organizations.
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Other sources include Icons of Europe's
research findings in 2003-2004
on Chopin and Jenny Lind's secret relationship.
Highlights of the essay
"The original autograph of Mazurka op. 24, n° 3 took an unexpected route over the
next 100+ years - which eventually brought it back from Canada to Poland in 1959 aboard
the Swedish liner M/S Stockholm." - - -
The Bank of Montreal had for about 19 years including World War II held
a collection of original Chopin manuscripts, a two-volume Johann Gutenberg Bible,
Szczerbiec (the bejewelled sword used since 1320 for the crowning of Polish kings), and
other particularly important Polish art treasures - locked in two trunks for safekeeping
in its vaults at Sparks Street, Ottawa.
Given Jenny Lind's performance for
Queen Victoria in 1855 and 1856,
it is no small coincidence that the two trunks were released from the Bank of Montreal
under an Agreement drafted in 1956 "on behalf of Her Majesty the Queen in right of
Canada" (secret document no. 171-56: Memorandum from Secretary of State for
External Affairs to Cabinet, Ottawa, August 1st, 1956).