Newly repaired Sir Nicholas Winton statue unveiled at Prague's main train station

The glasses from the bronze likeness of the British humanitarian worker have been stolen by vandals three times

ČTK

Written by ČTK
Published on 14.09.2020 08:43 (updated on 14.09.2020)

Prague, Sept 13 (CTK) – The statue of Sir Nicholas Winton, who saved 669 Czechoslovak, mainly Jewish children from being transported to concentration camps before World War II, was ceremonially re-unveiled at Prague’s Main Station platform 1 on Sunday.

Winton’s figure once again wears the signature glasses that were repeatedly stolen by vandals in the past.

Restorer Pavel Schreiber told CTK that the repair cost 13,000 CZK and was covered through a public fundraising campaign.

“Today’s meeting is held in remembrance of Sir Nicholas Winton. Originally, it was scheduled for May 19, his 111th birth anniversary, but it was put off due to the coronavirus,” Schreiber said.

“The statue was damaged for a long a time, its typical pair of circular glasses being torn off. In January…I noticed that the glasses were damaged and I decided to change this,” he said. (The embed below shows a close up of the statue with the glasses).

Praha, stanice hlavní nádraží: Sir Nicholas Winton. Zachránce několika set malých českých uprchlíků před válkou. Pomoc uprchlíkům a soucit s nimi: Stále aktuální téma.ŽelPage

Zveřejnil(a) Alois Nebel Film dne Neděle 13. září 2015

The bronze sculpture was unveiled at the platform in September 2009, on the occasion of the departure of the Winton Train that followed the route of the Winton-supervised trains that brought hundreds of Jewish children from Prague to Britain on the eve of WW2.

The pair of glasses disappeared from the statue three times since, and for the last time went missing for about five years, Schreiber said.

Following the recent reconstruction of the platform, a camera has been installed on the site to deter vandals, he said.

“The current times make it possible for any citizen, such as me, to push things forwards. I have decided that Sir Nicholas will keep his pair of glasses until the end of my days,” Schreiber added.

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Today’s event was attended by the sculpture’s author and owner Flora Kent, a sculptor of Venezuelan origin who lives in London.

“She will negotiate the statue’s future with representatives of the Czech Railways Management,” said Schreiber.

Winton, a British broker and humanitarian worker, was born on May 19, 1909 and died on July 1, 2015.

In 1998, Winton was received by then Czech president Vaclav Havel, who bestowed him with one of the highest state honors, the Tomas Garrigue Masaryk Order. In 2003, Winton was knighted by the British Queen. This year on what would have been his 111th birthday, he was honored with a Google Doodle.

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The kindertransport hero, often described as the British Schindler, will be portrayed in an upcoming biopic by Anthony Hopkins by BBC films.