When Picasso visited Warsaw in 1948 he drew the Warsaw’s Syrenka on a wall at ul. Deotymy 48 in the Wola district. The family who lived in the apartment got sick of the constant flow of visitors wishing to view the work and grew to hate the drawing on their wall. They were finally granted permission to paint over the charcoal drawing! Today there’s a recreation of the symbol on the wall of the house at ul.Obrońców 28/30 in Saska Kępa.
This brief series of photos suggests the bittersweet longing for a type of urban-retail “niche,” as cities opt for more homogeneous trade-spaces that focus solely on the commercial exchange and foretell the decline of symbolic exchange.