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National Film Archive opens ultra-modern depository

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Hradistko near Prague, June 19 (CTK) – The Czech National Film Archive (NFA) opened a new modern depository, which would secure a stable climatic environment for the storage of up to 100 million metres of film, in Hradistko today.

Its construction started in the spring of 2015 and cost 155 million crowns. It was funded from the Culture Ministry’s programme.

“This is a very well invested sum from the state budget,” Culture Minister Daniel Herman (Christian Democrats, KDU-CSL) said.

The depository of 1,820 square metres, designed by architect Martin Kotik and projected by the Arch.Design company, was built in the complex of the current depositories from the 1970s-1990s.

The new depository meets the strictest standards, NFA general director Michal Bregant said.

The air humidity of 35 percent will prevent the drying up and shrinking or the film material, while the constant temperature of 5 degrees Celsius below zero will halt the chemical processes shortening its lifespan.

Each film will have to undergo a 24-hour acclimatisation process before it is moved to the new depository.

“In view of this process, the whole moving will last about ten years,” Bregant said.

The new depository will primarily house the whole color film production from the 1950 until the present as well as some safeguarding material for older films that the NFA copied on fireproof material, including animated films by Hermina Tyrlova, Jiri Trnka and Karel Zeman.

However, some valuable black-and-white films will be preserved there as well, for instance, the collection of films by Jan Krizenecky, a pioneer of Czech cinematography from the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th century, the first scientific films, collections of the Czech avant garde such as films by Alexander Hackenschmied, documentaries and commercials of the Bata shoe-making firm, a collection of films by world travelers Jiri Hanzelka and Miroslav Zikmund.

Besides, the depository will house the national culture heritage – the recordings of the show trial of Czechoslovak democratic politician Milada Horakova (1901-1950) who was executed by the Communist regime for political reasons.

($1=23.490 crowns)

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