A sculpture in coal is an example of artistic creation in Upper Silesia. Coal sculptures are made mainly by miners. The themes of the sculptures range from those relating to the everyday life of mining communities to those relating to religion. This article presents the history of a monstrance made of coal, which was meant as a gift for Pope John Paul II and was supposed to be presented to him in Gdansk during his third pilgrimage to Poland in 1987. But the Pope never got the sculpture, despite various efforts made. Presently, it is safe kept at the Mother of God of Rosary parish in Ruda Slaska-Halemba. The article touches upon social and political events, which directly impacted on the making of the monstrance, its history and the functions it performed in the various places in which it was displayed. The authoress has emphasised the symbolic character of the monstrance for the Solidarity movement and its importance in particularly difficult situations experienced by the inhabitants of Ruda Slaska-Halemba.
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