Prague, April 25 (CTK) – The exhibition of works by German painter Gerhard Richter, 85, who comes from the former East Germany, which opens to the public in Kinsky Palace in Prague centre on Wednesday, is a repayment of his debt, he told journalists when touring it yesterday.

“It is a a matter of the heart. There may also be bad a conscience in it,” he said, adding that he long avoided East Europe because the same regime he did not like ruled there.

Richter left for the West in 1961. The Prague retrospective, which will be open until September 3, is his first such exhibition in the former East Europe.

The exhibition features abstract as well as figural paintings, landscapes as well as one-colour spaces related to World War Two, the terror of the German Red Army Faction (RAF) as well as the terrorist attacks on the United States on September 11, 2001, when Richter was flying to New York and his flight was diverted over the attack.

However, his paintings also depict the work-day beauty, common human experiences, his wife and daughters which emanate love and peace.

Richter said he is happy that one of the first works a visitor to his exhibition will see is Uncle Rudi, which has been loaned to Prague from the Lidice collection.

He said he is glad that it is displayed in Prague because he has donated it to the Czech Republic.

It happened in the early 1960s when many world artists donated their works to Lidice.

The little known collection, which experts say is important, is comprised of many works by authors who have become famous since then.

Lidice, central Bohemia, was obliterated by the Nazis in 1942 in retaliation for the assassination of Nazi Deputy Reichsprotector Reinhard Heydrich by Czechoslovak paratroopers.

Asked which paintings he chose for Prague, he mentioned the Brezinka (Birkenau) concentration camp cycle, which is now on a parallel display in the former Convent of St Agnes of Bohemia.

Richter said the series of large paintings was made based on photographs which a prisoner of Oswiecim (Auschwitz), of which Brezinka was a part, took secretly.

However, the Holocaust horrors are not visible in the pictures, Richter covered them with colours.

Richter is one of the first German artists of his generation who have been capable of speaking about the Nazi history of their country.

ms/dr/pv