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Museum marks 70 years from Czech globetrotter tandem’s first trip

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Prague, April 20 (CTK) – The National Technical Museum (NTM) in Prague will mark the 70th anniversary of the start of the first journey of the famous Czech globetrotter tandem Jiri Hanzelka and Miroslav Zikmund at a commemorative event on Saturday, NTM director Karel Ksandr told reporters on Thursday.

A documentary film screening will show the historic moment when the two young travellers, both economists by training, embarked on their Tatra 87 car and set out for Africa in 1947.

The visitors will be acquainted with Hanzelka and Zikmud’s story. Veteran cars from before 1970 and all types of Tatra cars will be displayed by the museum as well as private owners during the event.

The exhibition will also present authentic items from the tandem’s first journey, such as a gun, a map, some coins, souvenirs and shoes.

A Tatra car’s commemorative ride in the footsteps of Hanzelka and Zikmund, with a three-member crew aboard, will start outside the NTM on Saturday, April 22. At noon, they will depart for a travellers’ festival in Zlin, south Moravia, and then continue to Marseille, France, according to the route the two globetrotters described in their diary 70 years ago, Ksandr said.

When Hanzelka (1920-2003) and Zikmund (born 1919) departed for Africa in 1947 with the aim to go around the world, only a handful of friends parted with them outside the Autoclub seat in Prague. On return 3.5 years later, they were greeted by fans in the streets as popular travellers.

On their first journey, they toured Africa and South and Central America. They crossed 44 countries and covered 111,000 kilometres, including 61,700 in their Tatra car.

They made 10,000 photos and shot 11 kilometres of film on their tour, during which they shared their experiences with the public through immediate radio reportages and later through several books.

NTM expert Petr Kozisek told journalists that Hanzelka and Zikmund’s Tatra 87, on display in the museum, is not the car with which they set out for their first journey.

“The original car ended up in Libya after an accident. They chose another one, also silver painted, in Alexandria, with which they completed most of their trip,” Kozisek said.

The commemorative ride starting on Saturday will use another Tatra that belongs to a private owner.

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