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Bust of Emperor Francis Joseph I unveiled in Czech town

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Pohled, East Bohemia, Aug 20 (CTK) – A memorial to Francis Joseph I (1830-1916) was unveiled to mark the 100th death anniversary of the Austrian Emperor in the village of Pohled on Saturday.

The bronze bust is placed on a stone plinth standing near a lime tree that the locals planted in 1908 to mark the 60 years of the rule of Francis Joseph I, who was also king of Bohemia, Croatia and Hungary, Pohled Mayor Jindrich Holub said.

Holub represents the small Association for the restoration of the Czech kingdom initiated the creation of the monument.

He said the association does not want to present Francis Joseph I as a perfect ruler but to open a discussion on his rule that also included the outbreak of World War One. “We should reassess this part of our history and realise what really happened,” Holub said.

The speakers that addressed about two hundred people who gathered at the unveiling ceremony said this has been the only monument to Francis Joseph I built in the country in the last 100 years.

There are about half a dozen monuments of this Austrian emperor in the Czech Republic.

The Czech version of the Austrian imperial anthem was sung and fusillades of gunfire by soldiers in uniforms from the time of the emperor were fired during the ceremony on Saturday.

The bust was cast according to a model created by sculptor Zdenek Josef Preclik.

Francis Joseph I was the Habsburg monarch who ruled for the longest time and the Austrian ruler who died at the highest age.

The death anniversary of Francis Joseph I will also be remembered by an exhibition presented in the museum in Nove Mesto na Morave, about 40 km east of Pohled, that will open on September 15.

The exhibition will include photographs of the emperor’s bust that was installed in Nove Mesto in 1898 but the locals destroyed it in 1918, after they heard of the establishment of the independent Czechoslovakia, said Katerina Kucerova, from the museum.

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