- PKP PLK, which is the owner of the bridge, has not yet signed a contract for photos on the bridge
- At the end of 2019, a film crew inspected the bridge. The meeting was attended, among others, by representatives of the Polish Army
- Film producer Robert Golba does not say directly that the bridge, which is out of use today, will be blown up. It only emphasizes that work is underway on several different scenarios, and that after the completion of the shooting, the bridge and the railway line No. 283 will be revitalized and put back into use
- As Golba assures, talks on this matter are underway under the patronage of the Ministry of Culture
- The head of the International Committee for the Protection of Industrial Heritage (TICCIH), a UNESCO advisory organization, sent a letter to the Prime Minister in defense of the bridge
The media storm around the 111-year-old Pilchowicki Bridge located in the Wleń commune, which is part of the railway line No. 283 from Jelenia Góra to Lwówek Śląski, which has been closed for four years, began in March. It was then that Piotr Rachwalski, the former president of Koleje Dolnośląskie, wrote on Facebook that PKP PLK allegedly agreed to blow up the bridge during the Hollywood production.
The matter was quickly addressed by representatives of PKP PLK who denied reports of consent to blow up the bridge. – The information that appeared on this topic is typical fake news – Mirosław Siemieniec, spokesman for PKP PLK told Onet at that time.
The following assurance was added to the PKP PLK’s Twitter account: “We do not blow up the bridges, we improve their condition – the historical ones are preserved!”
“Libra” or “Mission: Impossible 7”?
However, the matter did not end with the assurances of PKP PLK. When it got loud about the bridge, Barbara Obelinda-Nowak, Lower Silesian Regional Conservator of Monuments, received an application for entering the Pilchowicki Bridge into the register of monuments. This procedure has started, but has not been completed yet, so for now – the bridge is not a monument.
In the meantime, it turned out that the Polish Film Institute awarded about PLN 5.5 million to the so-called incentives for Alex Stern to produce the film “Libra”. According to Gazeta Wyborcza, this is the working title of Paramount Pictures’ Mission: Impossible 7 with Tom Cruise playing the role of Ethan Hunt.
“GW” informs unofficially that Tom Cruise is due to arrive in Poland at the end of August. Piotr Rachwalski on Facebook argues, however, that “everything indicates an attempt to take photos in September”.
Robert Golba, CEO of Alex Stern, assures that this year there are no plans to start shooting in Poland.
What was the military doing on the bridge?
In December 2019, the director of “Mission: Impossible” Christopher McQuarrie was already in Lower Silesia to see the bridge. The Polish Army accompanied him during the inspection of the crossing.
– The participation of the Polish Army in the inspection of the bridge in Pilchowice, which took place on December 13 last year, was confirmed in June by the general commander of the Polish Armed Forces, General Jarosław Mika – says Piotr Lewandowski, president of the Thesaurus Foundation, a lawyer specializing in the protection of monuments.
The president of the foundation asked the General Command of the Polish Armed Forces to provide public information, copies and scans of documents regarding the participation of the Polish Army in the inspection of the bridge. His application was, however, refused on the grounds of the “business secret”.
Today we know that the participation of the army in the meeting concerned the possible support for film production. – Unofficially, I know there were sappers. Their participation testifies to a certain direction of the military’s activities – says Piotr Lewandowski.
PKP PLK: there is no contract for the implementation of photos
If filming does take place in Poland, will the Pilchowicki Bridge be blown up in one of the scenes? At PKP PLK, no one officially confirms such plans, but also admits that the film crews are interested in the facility.
– The use of the bridge for film shots and artistic activities may only take place after the conclusion of an appropriate contract, in accordance with applicable law and regulations. Agreements of this type provide for the temporary lending of infrastructure for non-invasive activities, in accordance with applicable law and obtaining, if necessary, any approvals from other authorities. Currently, there is no contract for the implementation of photos, says Onet Mirosław Siemieniec, spokesman for PKP PLK.
Robert Golba: Several Different Scenarios
“There is a high probability that this bridge will be able to play in this film. And after the pictures, the currently unused bridge, along with the railway line, will be restored to use. But it has already been revitalized” – says Robert Golba, CEO of Alex, in an interview with Wirtualna Polska Stern.
The producer does not say directly whether, if the shooting takes place in Poland, the Pilchowicki Bridge will be blown up. “The magic of the movie is to go to the movies and see it for yourself,” she replies.
In an interview with Onet, Golba admits: We are in the process of multi-faceted preparations and talks on at least a few different scenarios. It is still far too early to say what kind of scenes and in what specific locations will take place. One thing we can reveal for sure now: the film project we are talking about is only part of a much larger project, which is the revitalization of the 283 railway line, connecting Jelenia Góra with Lwówek Śląski.
As Golba emphasizes, the bridge is in a bad technical condition and no one in Poland will undertake its renovation. American production is to be a chance for a bridge for a second life.
– We are very pleased with the interest in the bridge, but do its defenders have an idea to save it? Memory and a kind word will do nothing here. Without a huge financial contribution, this bridge will collapse in a few years. We are doing everything to prevent this from happening. In addition to the railway line, the Wleń municipality could also get a huge boost of promotion and further increase its tourist attractiveness – claims Robert Golba.
– The makers of the film have been to this region many times and are very impressed by it. We are constantly getting inquiries about new locations for other scenes – he adds.
According to Golba, obtaining the relevant approvals and permits may take six months. “We will not commit any crime. Everything will be in accordance with Polish law. We and large Hollywood studios attach great importance to this “- emphasized in WP.
Marshal will take over the bridge?
The Marshal of the voivodeship is seeking to take over the line No. 283 Jelenia Góra – Lwówek Śląski with the bridge over Lake Pilchowickie. Lower Silesia. They are already drawing up plans for the future in the marshal’s office.
– After the line is taken over, the voivodeship self-government will revitalize and restore it to passenger traffic. Trains will run on the route in the future Lower Silesian Railways – says Onet Michał Nowakowski, spokesman for the marshal of the voivodeship Lower Silesia.
The spokesman of the marshal emphasizes that currently the bridge belongs to the PKP PLK company and only it can decide about it. – We know from the Lower Silesian Provincial Conservator of Monuments that the decision to enter the bridge into the register of monuments is close in time. The bridge is unique, historical, and part of the Lower Silesian Industrial Monuments Route under construction, emphasizes Michał Nowakowski.
Letter from the world organization to the prime minister in defense of the bridge
In recent days, after further reports on the uncertain fate of the bridge over Lake Pilchowickie, an initiative was launched on Facebook “I am against the destruction of the bridge in Pilchowice”which has already attracted almost four thousand people. The Małopolska Provincial Conservator of Monuments also referred to the matter in social media.
Miles Oglethorpe, head of the International Committee for the Protection of Industrial Heritage (TICCIH), a UNESCO advisory organization, also defended the bridge. In a letter to Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki, the head of TICCIH expressed the hope that the state would protect the Pilchowicki Bridge.
– If all other countries refuse the Americans to blow up the bridges and only Poland undertakes such actions, it proves us badly – says Piotr Lewandowski.
– I suspect that once the bridge is blown up, no one will have any interest in taking any action for reconstruction. I just don’t believe it – he adds.
“There is no option for us to destroy the bridge and leave the locals with it. This line is 100 percent. will be revitalized, because this is a prerequisite for a Hollywood film studio. We want it to be in one line: we are leaving this bridge, and PKP is starting to revitalize the line. Then the movie goes on screens and we start advertising Wleń and Dolny Śląsk. We are already conducting relevant talks on this matter under the patronage of the Ministry of Culture. The contracts will contain an appropriate provision on the revitalization of the line and funds will be secured for it – emphasized Robert Golba in WP.