Prague planning a sculpture park

Some controversial artworks may be moved to single location outside the center

Prague City Hall is considering moving some municipal sculptures, monuments and fountains to a new sculpture park at the edge of the city. The city is cataloging public art and deciding on what to do with it. Letňany is being considered as a location for a sculpture park for the artworks moved out of the center.

Critics, though, say the artworks belong where they have been, and that sculptures of communist leaders, for example, were removed from the city long ago. There is no need to create a park like Szoborpark in Budapest and Fallen Monument Park in Moscow to hold such sculptures.

In most cases, metal sculptures of communist leaders were melted down.

“We have asked the city districts to make an inventory of all the works entrusted to our care,” Eliška Kaplický Fuchsová (ANO), chairwoman of the City Hall Culture Committee, told daily Mladá fronta Dnes (MfD).

A preliminary count shows some 4,500 works while in 1999 only 350 were counted. The city is now making a photographic survey of all of the pieces to make a database, and this should be finished by the end of the year. Damages pieces will be repaired, but only if they are significant.

Prague Mayor Adriana Krnáčová (ANO) told MfD that the city was overwhelmed by works that could hardly be called art, that have been damaged or are works of social realism from the communist era.

Kaplický Fuchsová said the sculptures that can be found in panelák housing projects no longer have any significant meaning, but they could be given a new context in a sculpture park. During communism, 1 to 4 percent of the construction budget had to be allocated for art, and these often abstract works can still be found at housing developments.

Letňany is being considered as a location for the sculpture park because it is accessible by metro but far from the city center.

Not everyone is opposed to works of art made under socialism. Sculptor and art historian Pavel Karous has written a comprehensive guide to communist era public art called Aliens and Herons, and created a related website.

He said that the statues of Soviet leaders like Lenin and Czechoslovak leader Klement Gottwald were taken down decades ago, and that current politicians take a negative stance on anything created in the communist era. The works represent a historical era and should be protected, he added.

Mayor Krnáčová told MfD the idea wasn't only about communist art. There are other works that placed in public without being evaluated beforehand.

The committee to evaluate the public art should be composed of art experts and politicians, Kaplický Fuchsová said.

Karous told MfD that politicians should not be on the committee, and it was more common in the west to use just art experts to make such decisions about public art.

Examples of recent artworks that have spurred controversy and mixed opinions include Garden Butterfly by Brazilian artist Romero Britto in Ortenovo náměstí and the Winged Lion Memorial at Klárov. The Winged Lion was made in memory of Czechoslovak pilots who served in the RAF in World War II.

There was already a controversy over the sculpture when it was proposed, but eventually the issues were resolved and the sculpture was unveiled in 2014 in the presence of British Member of Parliament Sir Nicholas Soames, a grandson of Sir Winston Churchill.

While Kaplický Fuchsová says that a different more suitable memorial for the pilots could be placed elsewhere in the city center. Prague 1 Mayor Oldřich Lomecký (TOP 09), however, considers the issue closed and intends to defend the statue and it placement.

A sculpture of Franz Schubert in the courtyard of the Academy of Performing Arts, unveiled in the spring, has also met with a negative reaction.

Related articles

  • The Prague Orgy - a new Czech film in English in Czech cinemas by Michal Kráčmer

    LESS LIBERTY, BETTER FUCKS

  • Festival 4+4 Days in Motion by Eliška Míkovcová (4+4 Festival)

    Festival 4+4 Days in Motion to start in Desfours Palace, this year’s slogan is Nobody Has Anything

  • Lunchmeat Festival 2019—Dark Stars on the Horizon by Tony Ozuna - (Photo Lunchmeat Festival)

    Lunchmeat Festival returns to Prague at the end of September as the leading arena for cutting-edge electronic music and with more audio-visual punch than ever before. Their new motto is a challenge to the mainstream: “obsessed with audio-visual mindf**cks— & those who question the status quo.”

  • The Best European Locations For Hen & Stag Do's by Lucy Stevens

    Alpha Travel Insurance have ranked Europe's top Stag and Hen do destinations and indexed them based on factors including the cost of flights and hotel, the cost of a pint and the number of bars and activities available to find out which city comes out on top.



  • Circus and Theatre Festival Letní Letná Kicks off Next Week by Paul Lysek

    The "Leave the Crowd Speachless" Summer Circus Festival is back for its 16th Season at Letna.

  • Events for the week of August 19 - 23 by Narmin Ismiyeva

    We've highlighted five events for this week including The Great Beauty, Latino Anděl and Festival of Illustration.

  • Events for the weekend 17 - 18 August by Narmin Ismiyeva

    Are you making plans for the weekend? We've highlighted six events including the 1981 Secondhand Festival, beer tasting in the Botanical Garden, Etnopicnic and a lesson of Argentine tango atop Lucerna. 

  • Events for the weekend 3 - 4 August by Narmin Ismiyeva

    Are you making plans for the weekend? We've selected six events including the Czech version of the famous South Asian festival of love and colors that will take place on Střelecký Island on Saturday.

  • Events for the week 29 July - 2 August by Narmin Ismiyeva

    Are you in Prague this week looking for things to do? We have one event for each day, including yoga in Stromovka and screening of Anderson's The Grand Budapest Hotel in Karlín.

  • New exhibition opens at National Library of Technology by Narmin Ismiyeva

    The National Library of Technology in Dejvice (NTK) is especially popular among students, however, anyone can have access to its study areas. Go explore the unique space and the art exhibition it is currently presenting.

Facebook comments

Pražské Benátky

Enjoy Prague from a different view

Ristorante Casa de Carli

Authentic Italian cuisine in Prague

T.G.I. Friday's (Anděl)

A true legend in the restaurant industry - TGI Friday's

KUKBURG - Farm to table

Our meat and products straight to your table

Charles Bridge Museum

Discover the history of Prague’s famous Charles Bridge

Trabant Museum Prague

Trabant Museum @ STK Motol

Army Museum Žižkov

Armádní muzeum Žižkov

National Memorial to the...

Národní památník hrdinů heydrichiády


PragueMonitor.com

Prague’s # 1 source for Czech news in English…


PragueConnect.cz

Expat and Czech Business Professional Network


Tschech.News

German Language Info Service