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Frontpage News 2010 European Tale Centre opened in Poland


European Tale Centre opened in Poland

In Pacanów in Poland a European Tale Centre was opened on 4 March. The centre aims to promote literature, tales and reading among children.

A large audience with representatives from local, regional and central authorities, cultural institutions and media participated in the opening of the Centre, which is financed with support from the EEA Grants.

The Minister of Regional Development, Elzbieta Bienkowska underlined the importance of the EEA and Norway Grants, as they cover areas that are not easily funded by structural funds from the EU. The Norwegian Ambassador Enok Nygaard expressed hope that the centre would contribute to attract more tourists to the area. He also underlined the importance of local and regional support for the success of the centre.

Travelled the world in search for Pacanów
It is no coincidence that the Centre is located in Pacanów. The town in the southern part of Poland is already well known thanks to one of the country’s most popular children’s characters – the goat Koziolek Matolek. Matolek travels the world, from Africa to the Wild West, in search for Pacanów, a town where it is rumoured they are making goat shoes.

Whether Koziolek Matolek has found goat shoes in the town today is up to each visitor to the Tale Centre to find out. Those who visited the grand opening already know after being received by Matolek, elves and other fairy tale characters before they were invited to leave their coats in the magic wardrobe and set out for a journey through the childhood land.

Finally, the audience at the grand opening was invited to watch a theatre performance with young actors presenting their own play. Brave children undertook a journey through time and space, and by finding the right rhyme, they overcame the wicked queen who wanted to control all access to literature.

Meeting dragons and Alice in Wonderland
Groups of children visiting the Centre in the future will be invited to a two-hour tour through the magic land. Walking through a mouse hole they will meet dragons, the mirror from the fairy tale about Snow White, enchanted birds and other magic figures. They will be given various tasks by the guide, interacting with the magic creatures, singing songs, taking part in educational games like placing magic figures in their right place on the map, listening to stories in Alice’s Wonderland, feeling the dragon’s heart with their hands, selecting their favourite fairy tale from countries around the world and other enchanting activities.

With educational aspects
The Koziolek Matolek European Tale Centre in Pacanów has for years worked closely with children’s cultural groups, including organising a children’s festival with up to 20,000 participants every summer. With the opening of the centre they will expand their activities and also organise seminars for representatives from the educational and cultural sector on storytelling and its social and educational role.

The architecture of the centre is modern. The interior combines the magic of the fairytale land with practical functions like a library, a cinema and theatre halls, exhibition area and a small shop. The outdoor area will include a colourful garden.

Positive response from the children
The centre was opened for visitors the weekend before the official opening, and the guides reported that they had so many visitors that they hardly had time to drink a sip of water. The first school classes had also been visiting, and the response from the children was very positive.

Photo credit: Sidsel Bleken, Norwegian Embassy in Warsaw