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General public harms the national treasure

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The Charles Bridge, which construction lasted for 45 years and was completed in 1402, is arguably one of the most known and valued historic monuments in the Czech Republic. This medieval stone arch bridge crosses over the Moldava river right in the heart of Prague, where plenty of eager tourists from all over the world admire its beauty. Sadly, for many Czech citizens and foreign tourists it is also a place for vandalism. Sightseers often tend to leave small writings on the stonework of the Charles Bridge. It seems harmless to the visitors, yet for the restoration team that is in charge of keeping the bridge in a good condition, it is a job as complex as though it was a large piece of graffiti. Firstly, it is crucial to analyze the components of the particular writing. Afterwards, it can be washed off by pressurized water or steam. At the same time, too much pressure should not be exerted on one spot for a longer period of time because the sandstone would consequently be damaged. The cleaning of the Charles Bridge is quite a delicate task that costs the Czech government circa half a million Czech crowns every year. Just last month, new graffiti appeared on the monument. The young Czech man that has confessed to the crime could be facing up to 3 years of prison. However, since it is a case of a minor, it can only add up to 1 and a half years behind bars for vandalism.

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