“Zachęta” means “encouragement”, and it was created in the 19th century to support young artists. Nowadays, it’s one of the most important contemporary art museums in Poland. Located in a beautiful building from 1900, it is host to temporary modern art exhibitions. The place also organises other events, festivals and parties inside the gallery. It’s one of the hottest places in Warsaw’s artistic life.
In 1922, the Polish president Gabriel Narutowicz was killed in the gallery watching an exhibition by the artist Eligiusz Niewiadomski. Since then, Zachęta is famous for scandals. In 2000, a member of Polish parliament destroyed a sculpture by Italian artist Maurizio Catellan, which depicted Pope John Paul II struck down by a meteorite. On another occasion, famous Polish actor Daniel Olbrychski used a sword to slash another piece of art – a collection of 164 photos with the faces of actors playing Nazis. He started with destroying the photo of himself.
Check the website of the gallery for the program of current exhibitions and events. On Thursdays entrance is free.