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Born Canadian, she met Witold Gombrowicz in May 1964, when she came to Paris, as Rita Labrosse, to study contemporary French literature. In autumn of that year, they settled together in Vence. They married in December 1968, a year before the writer’s death. Since then, Rita Gombrowicz has been an indefatigable and extremely competent guardian of the writer’s legacy. Thanks to her, Gombrowicz has been published regularly around the world. In Poland, she took care to make Gombrowicz’s output available to the Polish reader in an uncensored version even under the communist regime. Obviously enough, the books were published illicitly at the time. The Honorary Citizenship was conferred by Resolution No 154/X/2007 of the Lublin City Council of 28 June 2007. The Act conferring Honorary Citizenship: This Act is an expression of our gratitude and great appreciation for your merits as a guardian of the best manifestation of our intellectual and cultural heritage represented by Witold Gombrowicz’s output. And for your continuous efforts to restore this outstanding author to our nation. To us, you are not only a Great Humanist, which is a special value in this city of two universities, but mainly as a great Friend of Poland, an untiring advocate of our country. For years, you have promoted the Jerzy Giedroyć Literary Institute, the first publisher of many works by Gombrowicz. It is owing to your efforts that Gombrowicz is present in the literary circles of Europe and the Americas, that the debate on his legacy is not ceasing – on the contrary, it is taking increasingly profound forms. Thanks to your determination, we have access to reflection on how a nation like ours can position itself creatively vis à vis great cultures and nations. We can remember your visits to Lublin, when you always expressed your admiration for the extraordinary beauty of our city and appreciated the value of our humanities community. It was especially valuable to us, as we, in Lublin, are proud of the fact that we owe the early presence of Witold Gombrowicz’s works in Poland to Lublin’s opposition circles –free printers. It was one of Witold Gombrowicz’s works that became a basis of an international success of two of Lublin’s theatres and many a time provided an opportunity to present in the world what we have most valuable in Lublin. We know your supportive attitude to those phenomena and are grateful to see how your support has given them even more significance. This Act strengthens the image of Lublin as a city of high culture, friendly to Europe’s great humanists. It is especially important to us today, when we are striving to enhance our city’s image, to build its future, to ensure that its potential deserves the title of European Capital of Culture 2016. Together with the Honorary Citizenship, please accept the expression of our solidarity with your efforts, wishes of outmost satisfaction with the mission you have been pursuing for years, and the best of luck in life.

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