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New building with Masaryk Library opens in Prague

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Prague, Nov 6 (CTK) – The public will be able to visit a new depository of the Library of Tomas Garrigue Masaryk, the first Czechoslovak president (1918-35), with some 185,000 volumes in a new building of the Masaryk Institute and the Academy of Science (AV) Archive that was opened in Prague on Monday.

The opening was attended by Charlotta Kotikova, great-granddaughter of T. G. Masaryk, along with AV President Eva Zazimalova, Charles University (UK) Rector Tomas Zima and Senate deputy head Jiri Sestak.

The library offers academic books as well as fiction and magazines and journals.

UK owns part of the library. Zima and Masaryk Institute and Archive director Lubos Velek therefore signed a contract on entrusting the university part of the collection to the institute’s administration to unite the Masaryk Library funds.

Zazimalova said both institutions had agreed on it very quickly.

“The library will serve both researchers and the public after it is properly arranged,” Zazimalova said.

The Masaryk Institute was established by Masaryk alone in 1932. He wanted the institution to deal with his legacy.

His intention will be fulfilled after 85 years eventually, Velek said.

The institute staff will be gradually processing the library funds, including 2,500 boxes with Masaryk’s personal archive.

“This is the biggest personal archive in the Czech Republic,” Velek said.

Masaryk originally entrusted his museum to the institute as well, but almost nothing was left out of it after the communist totalitarian regime (1948-1989).

The new building of the Masaryk Institute and Archive is situated in Gabcikova street, Prague 8, close to its original seat that the institute has used since 2005.

Velek told CTK that the construction had lasted about one and a half years and cost 37 million crowns. The costs of the library depository’s reconstruction were 21 million crowns from the AV budget.

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