In the late 18th century, a time when Poznań and the Wielkopolska Region were ruled by Prussia, Poles fought to preserve their national identity and culture. A result of this struggle was the construction of a monument to Jan Kochanowski, who popularised the Polish language during the Renaissance period. A specially-formed committee spent five years raising funds from the community. Yet, the Prussian authorities denied permission to erect a monument to a poet who stood for all things Polish. The Poles sifted through historic archives and discovered that Kochanowski had once served as a nominal curate of the Poznań Cathedral. They took advantage of this knowledge and erected a monument not to a Polish poet but to an ordinary (or rather extraordinary) curate.