The Slav Epic could be finally returning to Prague. The Prague Institute of Planning and Development (IPR) has proposed seven locations, three of which it believes are best suited for the permanent settling of the 20 massive canvases by the late Czech painter and illustrator, Alfons Mucha.
To determine a suitable permanent location, the IPR inspected various sites and rated them based on criteria such as availability, estimated complexity, and benefit for the particular location.
Of the selected locations, Pankrácké náměstí, Savarin, and Ledárny Braník, only the first is located on publicly-owned land.
“Since its inception, the Slavic epic has been waiting for a dignified permanent placement. We want to end this uncertainty about its future, which is why we have started a discussion with the professional public, which is also attended by the descendants of Alfons Mucha. For the last two years, we have been working together to ensure that this magnificent work finds its home in the capital city of Prague, according to the author’s wishes, ” said Hana Třeštíková, city councilor for Culture and Tourism.
The Slav Epic was displayed at the Trade Fair Palace until the end of 2016, after which it was sent on an exhibition tour in Asia. It was most recently displayed in Brno in 2018. According to a 1936 agreement between Mucha and the city of Prague, the grand paintings must be displayed in a suitable location approved by his descendants. The artist’s grandson, John Mucha, has previously taken legal action against Prague for touring the paintings outside of the city, which risked physical damage to the work.
“I believe that this detailed study will move Prague significantly further in deciding on the location of Mucha’s epic. We want this historically valuable work to be returned to our capital,” said Ondřej Boháč, director of the IPR.