Dr Wojciech Kołątaj will receive the Professor Jan Zachwatowicz Award for his achievements in the conservation of heritage sites. The award is presented by the General Monument Conservator and the Polish Committee of the International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS).
Wojciech Kołątaj devoted most of his working life to the preservation of cultural heritage. For many years he was the main architect at the University of Warsaw Research Station in Cairo (forerunner of the PCMA), participating in numerous excavation and conservation projects. He took part in the UNESCO-coordinated rescue efforts to save the monuments of ancient Nubia in Egypt and Sudan. He worked also in Palmyra (Syria), Nea Paphos (Cyprus), and recently also in Old Dongola (Sudan), where he prepared a project of revitalization of a medieval mosque. Dr Kołątaj also participated and directed research on behalf of other institutions, such as the American Research Center, the Smithsonian Institute, or the Service des Antiquités, documenting sites that were to be lost forever under the waters of Lake Nasser.
Among Kołątaj’s greatest achievements as architect and conservator is the archaeological park at Kom el-Dikka in Alexandria. Kołątaj was the director of the PCMA mission there, charged with the conservation of the excavated remains. Thanks to his work, visitors to the site can admire the monumental building of the Imperial baths and the reconstructed Antique theater, monuments unparalleled elsewhere in Egypt. Another such example is the “Villa with the Birds”, a specially-designed pavilion housing Roman mosaics in their original archaeological context.
The ceremony will take place on 6 December 2016 at 10.30 a.m. in the Kubicki Arcades of the Royal Castle in Warsaw.