The First Art Newspaper on the Net   Established in 1996 United States Saturday, September 22, 2018


Stamped out by war and communism, Polish luxury is back
A Lamborghini car stands in a car dealer's shop in Warsaw on Jun 15, 2018. Luxury has become increasingly visible in Poland after a long absence due to the country's devastating losses during World War II and the policy of egalitarianism later touted by the communist regime. JANEK SKARZYNSKI / AFP.

by Michel Viatteau


WARSAW (AFP).- A grey Ferrari comes to a halt in Warsaw and a young woman emerges. Wearing Chanel sunglasses and carrying a little dog, she enters the Raffles Europejski hotel, a symbol of the luxury that has returned to Poland.

Her destination is the historic pastry shop Lourse, which is located at the hotel, where guests pay between 250 and 4,000 euros ($290 and $4,700) a night and can count on perks like a personal butler.

The legendary Hotel Europejski, which was considered eastern Europe's best in the 19th century, has just reopened after five years of renovation work spearheaded by the Raffles brand.

Poland's first Hermes store could be housed at the site, a source told AFP, though the French luxury goods giant would only confirm that it was looking into a project "in Warsaw in late 2019, early 2020".

Luxury has become increasingly visible in Poland after a long absence due to the country's devastating losses during World War II and the policy of egalitarianism later touted by the communist regime.

Decades on, a new class of wealthy Poles has appeared, whose members include heads of successful family businesses, real estate agents and high-flying bankers.

Many of the elite live in the 44-floor Cosmopolitan apartment tower in the heart of Warsaw. Opened in 2014, the building boasts a minimalist design by German-American architect Helmut Jahn, who also designed the European Union's headquarters in Brussels.

Of the 100 most expensive real-estate sales in Warsaw between 2015 and 2017, 79 concerned flats in the Cosmopolitan building, said Karolina Kaim, president of Tacit Investment, the Polish firm that financed the building's construction.

'Vertical village'
The apartments vary in price depending on the floor and view.

The most sought after units look out onto the Vistula River and the old part of town and cost nearly 10,000 euros per square metre -- a figure that may not shock Parisians or Londoners but is staggering to the average Pole who earns around 1,100 euros a month.

Most of the apartment owners are Polish but there are also a handful of foreigners living in the "vertical village", which cost more than 100 million euros to build, according to Kaim.

Residents include pop stars, football players and actors.

Other luxury symbols seen around town include high-end cars from brands such as Bentley, Ferrari, Lamborghini and Rolls-Royce.

Only a few years ago, the appearance of a sports car with the famous horse logo would have drawn a small crowd of onlookers, but today, Ferraris no longer stop traffic in Warsaw.

The Italian luxury car manufacturer has two Polish dealerships, one in the southern city of Katowice and another in the capital.

Their marketing head Karolina Szulecka prefers not to reveal sales figures but says that client interest is constantly on the rise.

Were it not for the company's policy of limiting production, Poles would snap up "10 or 15 percent more" Ferraris, she told AFP.

On the rise
From the collapse of communism, a new social group of entrepreneurs rapidly emerged, often former managers quick to buy shares in the newly privatised companies and develop them, or small entrepreneurs and artisans who swiftly adapted to the new conditions to create or grow a family business.
EU funds and foreign investment into the country followed and increased after Poland's 2004 EU entry.

Between 1990 and 2015, gross domestic product (GDP) more than doubled. Exports are growing and, according to International Monetary Fund forecasts, growth is expected to be just over four percent this year partly on “strong domestic consumption".

Today, Poland's wealthiest are often the third generation of those small business owners.

A dozen Ferraris
Meanwhile some Poles have many more than just one sports car.

A land developer, who declined to be identified, admitted he had three Ferraris parked in his garage, while the brand's biggest collector in Poland has 12. He also prefers to remain anonymous.

The general manager of the Bentley and Lamborghini dealerships in Poland, Piotr Jedrach, expects to sell around 50 British limousines in 2018 -- an increase on previous years thanks in part to the recent addition of an SUV model.

Prices start at around 230,000 euros.

As for Lamborghinis, displayed in Warsaw in a car dealership that looks more like a futuristic temple, they too are forecast to see a boost in sales, with 60 expected to sell in 2019, thanks to the SUV Urus.

The average Pole has nothing against the ultra wealthy.

"If I had that much money, I'd also buy myself a Ferrari," said Hanna Mrowiec, a retired middle manager who lives in a small one-bedroom apartment.

"But to have three? That's absurd. You can't drive three Ferraris at once," she told AFP.

Nevertheless, luxury in Poland generally remains discreet, more the purview of cultural sponsorship than bling-bling excess.

The Swiss owner of Raffles Europejski, Vera Michalski, paid for around 500 modern Polish works of art to adorn her hotel. She also lent some from her own collection.

As for the Cosmopolitan, there was an art exhibition earlier this year on the 42nd floor.

It featured work by the late painter and sculptor Wojciech Fangor, the only Pole to ever have a solo exhibition at the Guggenheim Museum in New York.

The Cosmopolitan exhibition was free for anyone to attend -- not just the happy few living there.


© Agence France-Presse





Today's News

July 5, 2018

One of J.M.W.Turner's greatest watercolours left in private hands sells for £2 million

Strong bidding for Modern & Contemporary Art at Koller Auctions

Egypt unearths ancient artefacts 'hidden' in WWII

European police seize 25,000 trafficked ancient finds

Bolivia to build museum at bottom of 'sacred lake'

Untold stories of enslaved and paid laborers revealed at 1 West Mount Vernon Place

Jools Holland/Squeeze drummer and artist Gilson Lavis presents London art exhibit

London Design Biennale gets emotional

Exhibition at The MAK in Vienna offers a diverse spectrum of contemporary poster designs

Kunsthalle Mainz presents an exhibition of works by Julian Charrière

Frutta Gallery Glasgow exhibits works by Cornelia Baltes

The Montreal Museum of Fine Arts displays a selection of intelligently designed objects made by Quebec creators

Mutina for Art opens a site-specific installation 'Passaggio della Vittoria' by artist Paul Thorel

Stamped out by war and communism, Polish luxury is back

PAFA announces new acquisitions; Partnership with Paulson Fontaine Press

Bruce Museum welcomes new trustees, bestows awards, at Annual Meeting

British Library to develop shared open access repository services

Nationalgalerie presents projects by recent graduates from German art academies

FOMU Fotomuseum Antwerp opens Paul Kooiker's first major museum exhibition

10th anniversary of the world's top photography prize celebrated in Arles

A night in Mandela's prison cell - yours for $300k

Ronchini Gallery opens its second solo exhibition of works by the artist Adeline de Monseignat

New site-specific commission by Nicolas Deshayes in Battersea Park

Original pen and ink drawings of the Rolls Royce 'Spirit of Ecstasy' bonnet ornament for sale

Most Popular Last Seven Days



1.- New photographic book explores the provocative works of Rodin, Schiele and Picasso

2.- Spanish sculptures get kitschy colours in another botched restoration

3.- Van Gogh was murdered claims new film at Venice

4.- Raging fire tears through Rio de Janeiro's treasured National Museum

5.- Musée national Picasso-Paris opens exhibition of masterpieces by Pablo Picasso

6.- National Gallery of Art opens major exhibition of Corot's paintings of women

7.- RYAN LEE opens Indigenous Woman, a solo exhibition by Martine Gutierrez

8.- Flowers Gallery appoints new Gallery Director Jennifer Francis to lead global operations

9.- Bavarian authorities return priceless eighth century gold Sican mask to Peru

10.- Detroit Institute of Arts receives monumental Ursula von Rydingsvard sculpture



Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .

 

Founder:
Ignacio Villarreal
Editor & Publisher:Jose Villarreal - Consultant: Ignacio Villarreal Jr.
Art Director: Juan José Sepúlveda Ramírez


Royalville Communications, Inc
produces:

ignaciovillarreal.org avemariasound.org juncodelavega.com facundocabral-elfinal.org
Founder's Site. The most varied versions
of this beautiful prayer.
Hommage
to a Mexican poet.
Hommage
       

The First Art Newspaper on the Net. The Best Versions Of Ave Maria Song Junco de la Vega Site Ignacio Villarreal Site
Tell a Friend
Dear User, please complete the form below in order to recommend the Artdaily newsletter to someone you know.
Please complete all fields marked *.
Sending Mail
Sending Successful