More than a hundred years of searching for places for the Slavic epic. It should eventually end up in the Savarin Palace underground | iRADIO
“Alfons Mucha accepted an order from Mr. Charles R. Crane to create a composition and paint a cycle of the Slavic Epic, under the condition that the city of Prague could place the completed paintings at its own expense in a space built especially for these purposes.”
Listen to a report about the Slavic epic, which could be exhibited in the Savarin Palace
We quote from contracts, which the artist signed with his patron in 1913. He then donated the work to Prague. According to the contract from this February, the canvases on the history of the Slavic peoples will be in the Savarin Palace. The capital wants to display them in underground spaces near Wenceslas Square. Jarmila Plocková, the granddaughter of the architect Alfons Mucha, does not agree with this.
“This work, which is so deep, symbolic and valuable, will be placed twenty meters underground, even under the shopping center. I have the feeling that the work is being buried there. It is undignified and degrading. The work, which is admired all over the world, will actually be used as a commercial tractor,” explains Plocková to Radiožurnál, according to which the cycle worth eight billion will be located in a floodplain.
“The level of the hall for the Epic is supposed to be twelve meters below the groundwater level. I need a hydrogeological survey, but also an archaeological one, because of course they would cancel a huge area of archaeological medieval buildings, which the National Institute of Monuments has already ensured.” Plocková adds.
Litigation over ownership
The fact that the Epic belongs to Prague has been contradicted for several years by John Omond Mucha, who founded the Mucha Foundation and organizes exhibitions of Alfons Mucha’s works. Two years ago, the Prague District Court for Prague 1 upheld his lawsuit without jurisdiction.
But if the Capital placed the Slavic epic in Savarin, John Omond Mucha would withdraw his claim; as stated in the basic conditions in one of the contracts available to Radiožurnál. The founder of the Much Foundation did not respond to our written questions.
According to the councilor for culture Hana Třeštíková from Prague Sobě, a decision will be made on the location of the Slavic epic in Savarin within a few weeks. He does not want to comment more on it. In the lease agreement, which was already signed by the current mayor Zdeněk Hřib from Pirátů, under the conditions, the capital commits to a lease in Savarin for 25 years. He can pay hundreds of thousands of crowns per month.
The Department of Historic Preservation of the municipality under the leadership of Jiří Skalicky has not yet received specific documents on which it could possibly comment.
“Some call Savarin tacky. The question is whether they even saw what kind of interiors will be prepared there. We have only seen the intention so far. We have not even seen a territorial study or documentation for a building permit. ANDwould Epic move, then it is a question of the conditions to which it is moved, how bright it will be, how humid or secure it will be. There are an awful lot of those aspects, and we actually don’t have a single relevant argument in hand right now. He hardly takes any position on it.’
A few weeks ago, the Ministry of Culture requested a supplementary opinion from the National Institute of Monuments regarding the repair of the Savarin Palace. We also asked Bohuslav Svoboda from the ODS, who could be the new mayor of Prague, to comment. He did not respond at the time of writing the article.
The Slavic epic is now located in Moravské Krumlov, where it should remain for another four years. A few years ago, some of the paintings were also in Tokyo, Japan, where over six hundred thousand people, including the imperial couple, saw them.
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