Depicting a horned boy sitting on a dolphin, a legendary pre-war sculpture has returned to Park Skaryszewski over eighty-years after it mysteriously vanished.
Known as both ‘Zdrój’ and ‘Faun’, the sculpture was originally unveiled in 1931 and won a prize in Paris four-years later. However, it disappeared at an unknown point during the war.
Designed by Jan Biernacki, details about this lost treasure remained thin on the ground – with little mentioned about in the pre-war press, many wondered if ever it actually even stood in Skaryszewski.
That mystery, though, was solved in 2008 when The Warsaw Rising Museum received ninety-nine slides of pre-war Poland. Taken by an aviation engineer by the name of Witold Konieczny, they were donated by his son, Konrad, who by that time was living in the States.
Hidden among the slides was a picture of Faun, thereby irrevocably proving that the statue had, as originally believed, stood in Skaryszewski.
Financed by a local history enthusiast, Mateusz Mróz, it was on his behest that a new sculpture was commissioned that would mimic, as accurately as possible, the original.
Under the guidance of art historian Agnieszka Kasprzak-Miller, a new 300 kilo work was sculpted from black African granite (as opposed to original was cast from bronze) by a stonemason by the name of Jerzy Zysek.
But despite its short life, the new Faun has already seen adventure aplenty after going missing for a few hours whilst he sat in storage.
Inspired by the figures found in Greco-Roman mythology, features of Faun include goat-like hooves and pointy ears. Symbolic of peace and fertility, more often than not they would be depicted through history as living in wild and wooded landscapes.
Unveiled last week, visitors to Skaryszewski will find the latest incarnation of Faun perched in the south-easterly part of the park.