BREAKING NOW: Elton to Get Polish Medal, But Sunday's Sopot Show is Off--
July 2012 @ 17:08
Poland's Ergo Arena has just revealed that Elton's July 8 appearance has been scrapped.
The co-organiserof the event, the FORZA Music Association, has given no reason.
Tickets may be returnedat the pointsof purchase.
Meanwhile, Magdalena Charkin-Jaszcza, of the European Solidary Centre in Gdansk, has announced that Elton is to receive the Medal of Gratitude from Poland for his assistance in bringing down the Communist regime.
Elton had been expected to get the trophy by former president and trade union leader Lech Walesa at his concert this weekend.
Charkin-Jaszcza said of the accolade:
''We award this to foreigners who helped Poland during its long struggle for freedom.
''Elton John came here and gave us the support we needed when we were living in a police state where people were getting beaten up and killed like in George Orwells 1984.''
Sir Elton travelled to the country for a concert in 1984, when Communist army chief General Jaruzelski ruled.
The protest movement, led by trade union Solidarity and its leader Walesa, was at its height. While in the country, the songwriter visited Walesa, who had recently been in jail because of his activism, in his flat, where the pair enjoyed a morale-boosting bottle of champagne.
The medal says in Latin: He rushed to help us amid danger, to console when times were difficult.
The idea of giving Elton the award came from Damian Domski, a 32-year-old Polish immigrant who is a worker at Age UK and a gay rights activist.
He said he wanted to thank Elton, who ''used his fame and influence at a very important moment for us in Poland. Solidarity activists were effectively being criminalised and he renewed their courage to keep going.''
By 1989, Poland overturned the Communist rulers who had been in place since the end of the Second World War.