Warsaw’s most illuminating experience
Launched with the objective of preserving the neon signs of Cold War Poland, Warsaw’s Neon Muzeum is part Las Vegas kitsch, part historical project.When the Soviet Union was building its gloomy, often unlovable edifices all over Eastern Europe during the 1960s and 1970s, the locals sneakily added a bit of glamour and colour in the way of neon signs.
The Neon Muzeum’s privately funded documentation project and rescue of these neon artefacts began in 2005 with a huge collection in a temporary space, and this eventually found a permanent home in the Soho Factory, a creative complex in east Warsaw.
The museum’s opening night in May 2012 attracted over 10,000 visitors. The collection includes over 50 neon signs and almost 500 letterforms, as well as an extensive archive of photographic documentation, original blueprints and vintage postcards. The museum also tries to save signs in situ where possible, such as the delightful mermaid on the side of the high rise at 81/87 Grójecka Street, Warsaw. www.neonmuzeum.org
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The project has been made possible with the support of the Adam Mickiewicz Institute, as part of the programme aimed at promoting Polish design worldwide www.culture.pl