Prague’s National Museum to Reopen for First Time Since 2011

On October 28, the Prague landmark atop Wenceslas Square will open after seven years of renovations to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the foundation of Czechoslovakia

If you’ve been to Wenceslas Square this month, you’ve probably noticed the sparkling-new version of the city’s National Museum, which has finally seen the scaffolding taken down from its facade after seven long years of renovations.

Work on the building is still not completely done, but the city plans to partially open the National Museum on October 28th to coincide with the 100th anniversary of the foundation of Czechoslovakia.

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While most of the remaining work on the building will be to interior locations, the outside of the National Museum will get a few new additions over the coming weeks, too.

Those include a pair of historic lamps that will sit atop two 22-meter tall columns at the base of the stairs in front of the museum. The lamps & columns previously stood at the location during the early 20th century, but were taken down during WWII and never replaced.

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“The original columns were dismantled and allegedly deposited in the 1980s in the yard of the museum. Then they disappeared,” PRACOM executive Miroslav Gabriel told iDnes.cz.

“No blueprints survived, so we searched for photos, recordings, and TV records.”

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Over the past months, iron casters, wood carvers, and blacksmiths have been hard at work designing replicas of the original columns and lamps that will be erected outside the National Museum over the coming weeks.

Their work is based on designs by architect Josef Šulc intended to recreate the original look of the structures before their removal in the 1940s.

The cost of the two new pillars came to 8 million crowns; the total cost of renovations at the National Museum in Prague have reached an estimated 2 billion crowns over the past seven years.

On October 28, visitors will be able to enter the National Museum for the first time since 2011 as part of gala celebrations surrounding the 100th anniversary of the foundation of Czechoslovakia that also include an extensive military parade billed as the largest in Central and Eastern Europe.

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