Graffiti on Charles Bridge. via Janek Rubeš / Twitter

Charles Bridge vandalized again with graffiti

A large spray paint inscription is under one of the arches of Prague’s Charles Bridge

Charles Bridge has been vandalized once again. Someone sprayed graffiti under one of the arches on the Malá Strana side of the bridge. Police are investigating it as case as a suspected crime, and Prague conservationists are also assessing the damage to the bridge.

The graffiti red and black says “Kraków + Moscow = Prague” and has the date 8.3.2020. The meaning behind the inscription is unclear. It was first noticed by internet journalist Janek Rubeš on Twitter.

“We have information from the public that the Charles Bridge was sprayed. For this reason, we are dealing with the case of suspicion of the crime of damaging an object and determining other circumstances,” Prague Police spokeswoman Violeta Siřišťová said.

Prague City Councilor Hana Třeštíková (Praha Sobě) said Prague conservationists know about graffiti and are already working on the matter.

Barbora Liškova, a spokesman for the Technical Road Administration (TSK), said that the inscription would be removed in the near future.

“We are dealing with the removal of the inscription in cooperation with the Department of Monument Care and the Prague City Gallery, which has experience in removing graffiti from statues. We already have a restorer who will make a report and within a few days the inscription will be removed,” said Lišková said.

This is not the first time the 650 year old bridge has been vandalized. Over the summer, two German tourists in Prague to see a rock concert were caught in the act, and subsequently given suspended sentences, fines and were expelled from the Czech Republic for five years.

That case became a bit of mystery when the graffiti was removed overnight by professional graffiti remover Miloslav Černý. He claimed that the city was taking too long to remove it, and that risked permanent damage to the stones. He used high-pressure steam and an organic solvent that he claimed was safe to use on sandstone.

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The 520-meter-long Charles Bridge, originally called “Stone Bridge,” was founded in 1357 under the reign of Charles IV, King of Bohemia and Roman Emperor.

At the end of the 17th and in the 18th centuries, the bridge turned into a gallery of baroque statues of saints. Some of them were added later. It is one of the major tourist attractions in Prague.

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