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Norway ready to sponsor Czech monument to Roma Holocaust

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Lety, South Bohemia, April 16 (CTK) – Ambassador of Norway Siri Ellen Sletner confirmed on Monday at the site of the Lety war-time concentration camp for the Roma that Norway wants to contribute with one million euros to the construction of the memorial to the Roma Holocaust in the place where a pig farm was located.

The Roma Culture Museum (MRK) has opened an information centre in Lety which commemorates the Roma genocide in Bohemia, MRK spokeswoman Kristina Kohoutova told journalists on Monday.

From August 1942 to May 1943, a total of 1308 Roma people gradually stayed in the Lety camp, where 327 of them died and over 500 ended up in Auschwitz.

In 1973, a large pig farm was built on the site of the former camp. Last year, the Czech state bought the farm from its operator Agpi, which handed the premises to the representatives of the state in early April. The pig farm is to be pulled down this year and a Roma Holocaust memorial will be built there instead.

In early April, the complex was passed to the MRK representatives.

The state purchased the farm for 450 million crowns.

Agpi will receive the money in three installments, but 80 percent of the sum was already paid. The pig farm will be demolished for about 110 million crowns.

The government is negotiating on the support for the construction of the memorial from the Norway Funds amounting to one million euros.

Sletner told the MRK and Culture Ministry that Norway would sponsor the project.

“She said it was a vital project for Norway with which it reckons and it wants to support. Sletner highly esteems the Czech Republic for having bought out the pig farm,” Kohoutova said.

Agpi drove the last 330 of the 13,000 pigs from 13 halls in the farm to a slaughterhouse on March 14.

The Agpi shareholders approved the transfer of its Lety pig farm to the Czech state at its general meeting last year.

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