Prague marks 25 years on UNESCO list

The city will have a conference, exhibitions and a new book to mark the event

Prague will commemorate the 25th anniversary being listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site with an international conference called Prague —World Heritage City 2017. It will deal with issues related to the city’s future and life in a protected monument zone. The conference will be held Dec. 6–7 in the New Building of the National Museum.

There will also be exhibitions and a new book.

The historical center of Prague, but not the entire city, was added to the UNESCO list Dec. 4, 1992. It was clarified in 2012 that the zone also included Průhonice Park, just south of the city.

The conference is held under the patronage of Prague Mayor Adriana Krnáčová (ANO), National Heritage Institute (NPÚ) general director Naděžda Goryczková and Czech Technical University in Prague (ČVUT) Rector Petr Konvalinka,

In recent years, the historical center of the city has been depopulated. “It is necessary to ask whether the depopulation of the center has some connection with UNESCO,” Ondřej Boháč, director of the Institute for Planning and Development, said.

He said the conference will examine what Prague gains and loses from having the historic city center on the list. There is often a conflict between protecting the old buildings and creating new developments, he added.

City Councilor Jan Wolf (KDU-ČSL), responsible for culture, said that he is pleased the city in on the UNESCO list, and it is a difficult achievement.

Prague City Hall’s Department of Monument Care is publishing a book called Prague World or Nine Interviews About the Historical Center of the Capital City (Praha světová aneb Devět rozhovorů o historickém centrum hlavního města). It features historian Václav Ledvinka, diplomat Michal Beneš, town planner Jan Sedlák, and botanist and philosopher Jiří Sádlo, among others.

The organizers of the conference are also publishing The Prague Stock Exchange and its Fate, which relates to the history of the New Building of the National Museum, which has been the stock exchange, federal parliament, and headquarters for Radio Free Europe.

On Wenceslas Square from Nov. 20 to Dec. 11 people can see the Prague Not Realized (Praha NErealizovaná) exhibition, which shows unbuilt projects and alternative designs for buildings from the 19th and 20th centuries.

Prague’s protected zone includes an 866-hectare historical core with Prague Castle and Hradcany, Malá Strana, Old Town including Josefov and Charles Bridge, New Town and Vyšehrad. There is also a buffer zone where development faces restrictions.

Prague has been warned in the past that it could lose its listing, Too many tall buildings on the skyline have raised the issue in the past, and the poor renovation of Charles Bridge also caused concern.

There are 12 UNESCO World Heritage Sites in the Czech Republic. Aside from Prague there is the gardens and castle at Kroměříž (1998), historic center of Český Krumlov (1992), historic center of Telč (1992), Holašovice historic village (1998), Holy Trinity column in Olomouc (2000), Jewish Quarter and St Procopius' Basilica in Třebíč (2003), Kutná Hora’s historical town center with the Church of St Barbara and the Cathedral of Our Lady at Sedlec (1995), the Lednice-Valtice cultural landscape (1996), Litomyšl Castle (1999), the Pilgrimage Church of St John of Nepomuk at Zelená Hora (1994), and the Tugendhat Villa in Brno (2001).

There are 19 properties that the country would like to be considered as well for inclusion, such as the Fortress of Terezín, industrial complexes in Ostrava and Karlštejn Castle.

Related article:
Prague may go on UNESCO's endangered list - Prague.TV 02.10.2017
Prague marks 25 years as a UNESCO site - Prague.TV 10.05.2017

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