Saturday, 29 April 2017

Prague displays busts of murdered politician Horáková

ČTK |
11 January 2017

Prague, Jan 10 (CTK) - The Prague 2 Town Hall displays models of a monument of Czech democratic politician Milada Horakova (1901-1950), executed by the Communist regime for political reasons, which is to be installed in a park in this district.

The monument was initiated by the Milada Horakova Club that is also collecting money for the project. The club, in cooperation with both the Town Hall and heritage protectors, will choose the winning design.

Renowned Czech sculptors, such as Michal Gabriel, Olbram Zoubek and Ellen Jilemnicka, have participated in the competition for the monument.

The fate of Horakova must always be remembered, Jitka Titzlova, from the Milada Horakova Club, said during the exhibition's opening on Monday.

As soon as history is forgotten, people stop pondering and resisting evil that still persists in our country and elsewhere in the world, she added.

Titzlova also said she would ask Prague Mayor Adriana Krnacova to contribute to the Horakova memorial from the money that the city would otherwise spend on the next New Year's fireworks.

The club put up a competition for the monument a year ago. Twenty-five authors bid for the project, while eighteen models are presented at the current exhibition.

No first and second prizes, but only two "bronze medals" have been awarded.

A majority of the displayed models are figural. A couple of authors have depicted a child, in one case with a female figure. One of the awarded models is a bust by Daniela Kartakova, the other one was created by sculptor Ladislav Sorokac and architect Ondrej Tucek.

Visitors to the exhibition can vote on the models.

Horakova, a lawyer by profession, gave up her mandate of Czechoslovak parliament deputy in protest against the Communist takeover in 1948. Later she unsuccessfully initiated a concerted effort of non-Communist parties in this respect.

She was sentenced to death on the basis of fabricated charges of treason and espionage, along with Jan Buchal, Zavis Kalandra and Oldrich Pecl, and executed on June 27, 1950 at the age of 48 as the only woman to have been executed for political reasons in the country.

Her trial, in which a total of 12 people were charged, was exceptional in terms of its extent and severe sentences. It was also the first trial staged on the basis of a "scenario" applied in the Soviet Union in the 1930s.

There are several places in Prague commemorating Horakova.

The anniversary of her execution in the Prague-Pankrac prison, June 27, has been declared a significant day of the Czech Republic, marking the victims of the communist regime.

On this day, the Milada Horakova Club organises a meeting at her symbolic grave in the Vysehrad cemetery as her actual burial place is unknown. This grave consists of a tombstone with a roll of barbed wire designed by sculptor Karel Horinek and a bronze bust by Jaroslava Lukesova.

On the occasion of the anniversary od the 1989 collapse on communism on November 17, 2015, a memorial to Milada Horakova was unveiled near the Chamber of Deputies in the Lesser Town of Prague. The meorial, designed by Josef Faltus, shaped as a witness stand in a court room with a skylark sitting on a microphone.

Since 2009 there has been a bust of Horakova by sculptors Ctibor Havelka and Jan Bartos and architect Jiri Kanturek in a park on a square in Prague 4 near the building of the Pankrac prison and court.

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