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Polish Pope’s kayak on display in a museum

PR dla Zagranicy
Roberto Galea 12.04.2016 14:37
A kayak which was used by Karol Wojtyła as priest and bishop, before becoming Pope John Paul II, was put on display at the Museum of Sport and Tourism in Warsaw.
The kayak on display. Photo: PAP/Bartłomiej ZborowskiThe kayak on display. Photo: PAP/Bartłomiej Zborowski

It is a light, folding craft which was easy to carry and transport. Karol Wojtyła was keen on sports and used to go on kayaking trips along Polish rivers and in the lakes with groups of students every summer.

After the vacations, he left his kayak with a farmer’s family in the Pomeranian Lake District. After he moved to the Vatican in late 1978 the boat remained there for many years. It was eventually handed over to the Museum of Sport and Tourism, and is now included in its permanent exhibition following a thorough conservation project.

Archbishop Celestino Migliore, the papal nuncio in Warsaw, said during Monday’s ceremony at the museum that sports activities allowed Pope John Paul II to be more committed in the service to the people and to God.

The kayak’s name, inscribed on its rudder, is “Tłusty bąk” (Fat Bumblebee). Museum Director Tomasz Jagodziński has said that the origin of the name remains a mystery. “It was probably the idea of the kayak’s first owner. Perhaps one day someone will furnish us with the true story behind the ‘Fat Bumblebee’,” he said. (mk/rg)

The "Fat Bumblebee". Photo: PAP/Bartłomiej Zborowski

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