Narodowy Bank Polski, the central bank of the Republic of Poland has issued a new commemorative banknote for the 200th anniversary of the birth of beloved son of Poland Fryderyk Franciszek Chopin.
While Chopin spent his adulthood in self-imposed exile in France, his love was for Poland and he expressed this love in his music. Though he was buried in Paris in the famed Père Lachaise cemetery, his heart was removed after his death and smuggled back into Poland by his sister. Chopin’s heart was interred in a pillar of the Kościół świętokrzyski or Holy Cross Church where it remains today. The heart was removed for safekeeping in 1944 during World War II. On examination, it was found to be well preserved in alcohol, despite the fact that it had been nearly a century since the composer’s death. Some experts wished to examine the heart for genetic tests to see if Chopin suffered from cystic fibrosis rather than from tuberculosis. The Polish government has so far refused these entreaties, seeing no good reason to disturb his remains. And so, in a pillar in the Holy Cross Church in Warsaw, rests the heart of Chopin with the inscription from Matthew 6:21 “Gdzie skarb twój, tam i serce twoje” or “where your heart is, there your treasure is also”.
Chopin is still revered in his native land both as a great musician and a great Polish patriot.