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Czechs join 2018 European Cultural Heritage Year project

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Prague, Nov 15 (CTK) – A better awareness of the roots of European culture, its diversity and specific national features is the aim of the 2018 European Cultural Heritage Year project whose Czech programme was launched by Culture Minister Daniel Herman on Wednesday.

He said culture is a bridge on which people meet to stop feeling frightened.

The goal of the European Year of Cultural Heritage is to reduce the “potential which politicians misuse for their dirty game, and to help people come close to each other.”

He mentioned the year 2018 as very important for Czech history and society.

It is the 100th anniversary of the end of World War One, which markedly changed the scene of Europe and prompted the birth of new states including Czechoslovakia.

It is also the anniversary of the end of Czech democracy and the beginning of the dark Nazi occupation era in 1938.

“As for the events of 1968, I consider them our definitive farewell to the erroneous idea that democracy is compatible with communism. It is not,” Herman said, referring to the Soviet-led invasion of Czechoslovakia by Warsaw Pact troops, which crushed the Prague Spring communist reform movement.

On the European level, the year of cultural heritage will open in Milan on December 7.

In the Czech Republic, most state institutions will mark the anniversaries mentioned by Herman above.

The Czech government plans to earmark over 400 million crowns for marking the 1918 and 1968 events’ anniversaries.

Deputy Culture Minister Petra Smolikova said the European Year is also to highlight problems faced by cultural heritage such as troubles with its digitisation and an excessive exposure of historical sights to tourism.

Balance must be found between supporting cultural heritage, its popularisation and its possible damaging as a result of an excessive exploitation of selected sights, Smolikova told CTK.

In the Czech Republic, too, the interest of tourists concentrates on a few destinations only, though hundreds of sights are open to the public across the country, Smolikova added.

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