Friday, 18 April 2014

Waldes' heir to give Kupka's little known bust to Czech state

4 October 2012

Prague, Oct 3 (CTK) - The Czech state will acquire a little known bust of Frantisek Kupka which the famous Czech-born painter helped create, gallery owner Vladimir Lekes has told CTK, adding that he will hand the bust over to state officials along with the son of Kupka's late sponsor Jindrich Waldes.

Lekes and George Waldes will present the bust, made by sculptor Jan Vlach, to Culture Ministry officials on October 9.

They have decided to donate the bust to the state in connection with the state's plan to erect a monument to Kupka (1871-1957) in Paris's Pere Lachaise cemetery or in the Slavin burial site in Prague.

Along with the bust, the state will receive Jindrich Waldes's extensive archive containing yet unpublished letters between Waldes and Kupka and other artists.

The archive was auctioned by the Adolf Loos Apartment company in April. The Czech Culture Ministry then applied its pre-emptive right and bought the archive for 1.1 million crowns.

Based on Kupka's letters, the Czech Culture Ministry is opposed to the urn with Kupka's remains being transferred from Paris to Prague, which has been demanded by documentary film maker Lenka Jaklova, a specialist in Kupka, and her followers.

She wants the Czech Republic to bring back Kupka remains to show its adherence to this world-known pioneer of abstract painting.

The ministry, however, refers to Kupka's own wish, expressed in his letters, that he be buried in France where he lived for most of his life and where he died.

The ministry is considering paying homage to Kupka by erecting a small monument to him either in Paris or in Bohemia.

The bust the ministry is to receive might be used for this purpose.

The bust was donated by Kupka to Jindrich Waldes (1876-1941), an entrepreneur, Kupka's closest friend, loyal promoter and a collector of his works.

In 1939, the bust was confiscated by the Gestapo along with other artifacts from the Waldes collection. Later it ended up in the National Gallery in Prague but it was returned by Waldes's heirs in 1996.

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