Harmful fungi or exaggerated gossip?

Krakow residents were recently rattled with rumors that fungi under Rynek Glowny in Krakow is health-hazardous. A 2,200-square-meter area below Rynek Glowny is being transformed into an archeological restoration site. The excavations, which began in 2005, noticed an appearance of the micro-organisms six months ago.

But the specialists are reassuring residents that the fungus can’t move and is harmless to the air aboveground. The microbe conforms to its surrounding environment so staying and breathing in the city center is not risky. Professor Ireneusz Pluska, lead team specialist who is preparing a detailed plan for the museum, claims that the fungus underground is absolutely natural. His team is preparing a technical plan for dealing with ventilation and air conditioning systems to help liquidate any colonies. Several actions will implemented to calm the nervous atmosphere created by local media. Air-quality will be monitored daily on Rynek Glowny and a special filtration system will be installed. Specialists guarantee that the fungus sample will be sent to Case Western University in Cleveland to confirm their statements. Lastly, a military chemical specialist will go underground to liquidate the fungus colony.

City officials are upset that such rumors spread before being verified by experts. They fear such false publicity can negatively effect plans of converting the area into a museum and ruin the city’s growing reputation. But Krakow residents are superstitious. The rumors quickly become associated with a “Jagiellonian Curse.” In 1973 King Kazimierz Jagiellonski’s tomb inside the Royal Cathedral on Wawel Hill was opened to conduct research. In just a few months 12 of the participating historians died. Residents believe in a “curse,” but the researchers were probably infected by a carcinogenic fungus inside the King’s tomb, Aspergillus flavus.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *