EXCLUSIVE: ‘Aircraft carrier’ forced to move from Wawel

A ship dubbed the ‘aircraft carrier’ has been forced to leave its spot beneath Wawel Castle, amid threats of legal action.

KrakówPolska understands that the owner of the Stefan Batory – a floating conference centre which has for some weeks been moored illegally on the castle side of the river – was issued with an ultimatum to move his ship before it was removed by force. Owner Lech Będkowski admitted that his boat was occupying an illegal position, but said that he wanted to prove that the Stefan Batory fitted the character of the river. Initially, he answered calls to move to the Podgórze bank by saying that the water level was too low to allow the 54-metre long vessel to move safely, but this week agreed to relocate.

The Stefan Batory can accommodate 400 people on three levels. At 9.3 metres high it is by far the largest vessel on the river and, according to Jacek Stokłosa, the city’s chief artist, out of character with its surroundings.

Mr Stokłosa said: “The barge is like a giant aircraft carrier… I cannot give consent to something like that.”

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