The founding of the Benedict of Poland Award |
The agreement founding the Benedict of Poland Award was signed on May 28th, 2015 between the Polish Chapter of The Explorers Club, Warsaw Scientific Society, Łęczyca District Authorities and the City Council of Łęczyca. The Award Committee consisting of twelve members was also appointed on that day. The task of the Committee is to award the prize to outstanding researchers of the earth, the deep sea and the outer space. The Award will be presented during the annual gala ceremony. The Patron of the Award is Benedict of Poland, a Franciscan monk who in 1245 alongside the papal legate Giovanni da Pian del Carpine set off with a message to the Mongol Khan. During their two and a half year pioneering journey of approx. 20 thousand kilometres they paved the way from Europe to Asia - a mysterious, completely unknown territory at that time. Benedict of Poland and Giovanni da Pian del Carpine were the authors of the first detailed descriptions of this part of the Asian continent and the lives of its inhabitants, which served as inspiration for many subsequent, much more renowned travellers and adventurers.
The aim of the Award is to promote the achievements of Polish exploration as well as bring back the memory of Benedict of Poland and the historical role of Poland in the field of intercultural relations. The Award is presented in two categories: award for a Polish citizen, and for a foreigner for their merits in cooperation with Polish researchers. The gala ceremony is to take place annually in Łęczyca or Tum. The first ceremony took place in June 2015. The function of the Benedict of Poland Award Secretariat was entrusted to the Museum in Łęczyca.
(English version for the Museum in Łęczyca: Anna Błaszczyk)