Kraków arena cancels Roger Waters' show over his comments on war in Ukraine
Concerts by Pink Floyd co-founder Roger Waters were cancelled by a venue in the Polish city of Kraków, organisers said on Sunday, after the artist's comments on the war in Ukraine caused a storm of criticism.
Waters had been due to appear in Kraków next April, but Polish media reports about an open letter he wrote to Ukraine's first lady Olena Zelenska urging her to ask her husband to choose "a different route" and criticising the West for supplying Ukraine with arms provoked a fierce backlash.
"Live Nation Polska and Tauron Arena Kraków have cancelled Roger Waters' concert," organisers said in a statement on the venue's website. They did not elaborate on the reason for the cancellation.
On Saturday, state-run news agency PAP reported that a spokesperson for the Tauron Arena had said that Waters' management had cancelled the concert without giving a reason.
Poland counts itself among Kyiv's staunchest allies, and public support for the Ukrainian cause is very high.
Local councillors in Kraków had been due to vote on a resolution declaring Waters 'Persona non grata' on Wednesday.
In a social media post, Waters said that it was not true that he or his management had cancelled the concerts and criticised local councillor Łukasz Wantuch over the vote to declare him unwelcome in the city.
"Łukasz Wantuch has threatened to hold a meeting asking the council to declare me 'Persona non grata' because of my public efforts to encourage all involved in the disastrous war in Ukraine, especially the governments of the USA and Russia, to work towards a negotiated peace," Waters wrote in a post on Facebook.
"If Mr Łukasz Wantuch achieves his aim, and my forthcoming concerts in Kraków are cancelled, it will be a sad loss for me, because I have been looking forward to sharing my message of love with the people of Poland."
Wantuch said in a Facebook post on Monday morning that he had gone several times to Ukraine and witnessed the tragic effects of the Russian military offensive. " In Europe, in the 21st century, a 2-hour flight from the borders of the European Union, we see images like from World War II" - he wrote.
"Therefore, we would like to invite you to come with us on a humanitarian convoy and see it all with your own eyes. After Borodzianka, we will then go to Irpień and Bucza and you will have the opportunity to talk to people who have experienced the nightmare of the Russian occupation for over a month," Wantuch added.
He also warned that if the international community listened to Waters' call and stopped the shipment of arms, he would be "indirectly responsible for the deaths of thousands of people". "Words can kill harder than bullets."
Źródło: TVN24 News in English, Reuters
Źródło zdjęcia głównego: Taya Ovod / Shutterstock