Director of Polish literature institute in France passes away, aged 66

Before emigrating to France, Wojciech Sikora was an activist of the democratic opposition during the communist-era Poland. Photo: PAP/Maciej Kulczyński

Wojciech Sikora, an activist of the democratic opposition in the communist-ruled Poland and the director of the Literature Institute in Maisons-Laffitte, one of the most significant Polish foreign-based publishing houses, passed away on Thursday in Paris at the age of 66.

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In the Polish People’s Republic (PRL), Mr Sikora was associated with the Student Solidarity Committee, KSS "KOR" and the Independent Students' Association. In the years 1982-1989, he was an activist of émigré organisations in Paris, including the French Solidarity Bureau, as well as a writer for the Paris-based "Kultura" periodical. He was also affiliated with Jerzy Giedroyc, an acclaimed Polish political activist.

In the years 1983-1989, he served as the European representative of the Australian POLCUL Foundation (Polish Cultural Foundation), in 1987-2002 he was the secretary of the Fund for Assistance to Independent Science and Polish Literature (Fonds d'Aide aux Lettres Polonaises Indépendantes). In 1992 and 1997, he received the "Kultura" Friendship and Cooperation Prize.

Wojciech Sikora worked at the Literary Institute since 2000. After the death of Henryk Giedroyc in 2010, he became the president of the Kultura Literary Institute Association. He held this position until May 2019.

For his achievement and contributions to Poland, Mr Sikora was presented the Knight's Cross (1995), Officer's (2008) and Commander's Cross (2018) of the Order of Polonia Restituta, and in 2018 with the Medal of the Centenary of Regained Independence.