Army Museum at Žižkov to get renovated

Building will be closed for three years for large expansion

The Army Museum at Vítkov Hill in Žižkov is going to have a large renovation. Defense Minister Martin Stropnický (ANO) said the long-delayed work will start in this fall and finish in 2020. The estimated cost is up to Kč 600 million.

The museum in its current form will be open until the end of the summer. It currently has exhibits covering five broad eras beginning in World War I. A tank is at the entrance to the museum.

The museum operated by the Military History Institute (VHÚ) will get a new entrance and double the exhibition area, according to Defense Ministry spokesman Jan Pejšek. The buildings at the foot of Vítkov Hill were built in the 1920s and have long needed some upkeep. The original plan was to have been renovated by 2014 in time for the 100th anniversary of the start of World War I, but that was delayed. Money to start the project is in this year's budget. Project documentation was completed last year and a building permit has been issued.

A new plan for displays inside the museum has also been created by the VHÚ. The new entrance will lead to the basement. New display areas will be created at the roof as well. The exhibits in the new increased space will cover prehistoric times up to the present, according to VHÚ director Aleš Knížek. Some of the exhibitions that will come to the Army Museum had previously been at Schwartzenberg Palace at Prague Castle until 2002.

During the renovation, the exhibits from the Žižkov museum will be moved to the Army Technical Museum in Lešany, Central Bohemia.

The reopening will now come in October 2020 on the 100th anniversary of the establishment of the VHÚ, which began as the Memorial of the Resistance (Památník odboje) and got its current name after 1989.

The VHÚ collects and preserves written and physical items related to the military history of Czechoslovakia and the Czech Republic. Many items in the original museum collection were sold off at the start of the communist era. Some were later reacquired but many are still lost.

In addition to museums in Žižkov and Lešany, there is an Aviation Museum in Kbely in Prague 19.

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