Poland wants to buy Marie Curie’s vacation house in France

<p>SAINT-REMY-LES-CHEVREUSE, France &mdash; Poland’s prime minister says he’s given instructions for the government to buy a house in France where the Nobel-winning scientist couple Marie Sklodowska-Curie and Pierre Curie spent holidays and weekends from 1904-1906. </p>
<p>Premier Mateusz Morawiecki said on Twitter this week that the house, on the southwest outskirts of Paris, is “part of Poland’s history.” </p>
<p>The 120 sq. meters (1,300 sq. feet) stone building in Saint-Remy-les-Chevreuse carries a price tag of 790,000 euros ($950,000). It’s in disrepair but its peeling wall-paper, the fireplaces and the floor tiles date back to the Curie times, according to local real estate agency Stephane Plaza. </p>
<p>It said that Polish-born Marie Curie may have painted some ceiling designs herself, but there is no proof of that.</p>
<p>“This property was built in 1890 and was Pierre and Marie Curie’s holiday destination between 1904 and 1906," where they came with their daughters Irene and Eve, said Daniel Cazou-Mingot, head of the real estate agency. </p>
<p>“They (came) here during weekends, Easter holidays, summer holidays,” Cazou-Mingot told The Associated Press during a visit to the property Wednesday. "There’s been no experiments done (on) this property.” </p>
<p>One day in April 1906, Pierre headed back to Paris for an academic meeting and was hit and killed by a horse-drawn cart. </p>
<p>“After this accident, Marie Curie came back from time to time with her daughters and then she stopped coming,” and the house — with its 900-sq. meter (9,700-sq. foot) garden, 19th century dovecote and water pump — was sold, Cazou-Mingot said. </p>
<p>Renovation costs are estimated at some 200,000 euros ($240,000).</p>
<p>Some critics in Poland commented on social media that taxpayers’ money would be wasted on a house where Marie Curie did not spend long.</p>
<p>But the right-wing government has made it a priority to secure and care for places and objects significant for Poland’s history. </p>
<p>Born in 1867 in Warsaw as Maria Sklodowska, the scholar moved to Paris in 1891 and was one of the first women to study science at the Sorbonne. She pursued a scientific career with her French husband. After Pierre’s death that vacated the Sorbonne’s physics chair, she was offered the job and became the first female professor at the renowned university. </p>
<p>In 1903, Marie and Pierre Curie and French scientist Henri Becquerel jointly won the Nobel Prize in Physics for their studies on radioactivity. </p>
<p>Marie Curie also won the 1911 Nobel in Chemistry for discovering radium and polonium. The latter she named after Poland. </p>
<p>She died in 1943 in Passy, France, from radiation sickness. Marie and Pierre Curie are buried at the Paris Pantheon, among other distinguished French citizens.</p>
<p>Scislowska reported from Warsaw. </p>