INTRODUCTION: One of the world's largest paintings, a panorama of the Battle of Raclawice, is being restored in Poland for permanent exhibition in the city of Wroclaw.
LV & CU INTERIOR Soldiers unrolling painting in Bernardines Church in Wroclaw, Poland (4 shots)
SV PAN FROM Lighting technician TO unrolled painting on floor
LV Cameraman raised in crane
GV PAN Roof of church TILT DOWN TO painting unrolled on floor
CUs Cameramen taking pictures from balcony (2 shots)
CU Art restoration experts with shoes off, walking on painting and examining holes
SV & CU Detail of painting. General Tadeusz Kosciuszko on horseback (3 shots)
CU PAN Details of group of officers in painting (2 shots)
CU PAN Officers
TGV Entire painting on floor
GV Building where painting is to be exhibited
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Background: INTRODUCTION: One of the world's largest paintings, a panorama of the Battle of Raclawice, is being restored in Poland for permanent exhibition in the city of Wroclaw. The painting celebrates a significant Polish victory over Russia almost two hundred years ago.
SYNOPSIS: The old saying that good things come in small parcels certainly does not apply to this work of art. Ant for those art connoisseurs more familiar with larger paintings, a first confrontation with the Battle of Raclawice -- even if they know its dimensions -- still comes as a surprise. The length is 120 metres (400 feet); a wall of 15 metres (50 feet) would only just be large enough for its height, and you would need many people to position it too; the weight is three-point-five tonnes.
Restoration is beginning now in the Gothic church of Bernardines, presently used as the museum of architecture. It's a restoration long overdue. During World War One, the painting was seriously damaged but after repair work, was re-exhibited in 1928. In 1944, again as the result of war, the huge work was further damaged.
One year after the end of World War Two, in 1946, Soviet authorities handed back the Battle of Raclawice to Poland's art experts. They had hoped to exhibit in Wroclaw, but there wasn't a building large enough.
In any case, there was too much damage, and now that a new building is almost finished work on the intricate detail of the painting can begin in earnest. Famous Polish battle-piece artists, Jan Styka and Wojciech Kossak, along with a group of artist-assistants, took two years to produce the work which first went on show in Lvov in 1894, the year of the battle's centenary. The commemorative painting shows General Tadeusz Kosciuszko, who commanded the national insurrection, defeating Russian Czarist troops. Kosciuszko was helped by Polish peasants armed in most cases, only with scythes.
After a three-year restoration, the painting is to be exhibited in this purpose-built gallery.