"hen we opened the exhibition "Krakow Within Your Reach" in May this
year, we stressed that, as well as showing the public things of beauty it was
also to serve a scientific and educational purpose.
Thus over the months that the exhibition has been open to the public it has been ac-
companied by a full and interesting educational programme which continues to run.
The present publication is the fruit of an international academic conference devoted
to collecting, conserving and exhibiting plaster casts in museums across the world.
The curator and coordinator of the exhibition and the conference, Dr Wojciech
Marcinkowski, has outlined their aims, objectives and the subjects addressed in his
preface. All that remains to me, then, is to thank both him and the director of the Bish-
op Erazm Ciołek Palace, Marek Mróz, as well as all my other colleagues who were
involved in the organisation of the conference. Above all, however, I must express my
gratitude to those who took part in it, in particular those who gave papers. I would
also like to reiterate my thanks to the Minister of Culture and National Heritage and
the Marshal of the Małopolskie voivodship for their financial support of our project.
I hope that this, the fourth volume in our Museum's series of academic publications,
will, like its predecessors, find a sizeable readership and prove an important addition
to the state of research into the history of Polish art.
Director of the National Museum in Krakow