Prague’s Museum of the 20th Century Receives 26 Million Grant

The Museum of the 20th Century in Prague has been granted a subsidy of CZK 26 million to cover part of its operational expenses and fund this year’s projects. Prague city councilors approved the grant, but it still needs to be passed by the municipal assembly. If passed, the museum will receive CZK 26.4 million for its projects this year.

The museum’s 2023 program includes an exhibition on the European Gulag, a historical walk dedicated to the fate of Jan Palach, and a debate on Open Flats, Open Hearts – Defiant Women in the Era of Normalization.

The museum’s initiatives aim to remind not only of the memory of victims of totalitarian regimes but also of the courage of those who decided to fight for freedom and actively resist the regime. Moreover, eyewitnesses of historical events gradually pass away, and they must pass on their memories to the next generation.

According to Jiří Pospíšil, the deputy mayor for culture and heritage conservation, “For the development of democratic values, it is necessary to keep historical memory alive for two reasons. Firstly, to learn from history, and secondly, not to forget the dramatic fates of people affected by the events of the 20th century. We must not lose our memory. That is why I am pleased that we are taking the Museum of the 20th Century project to the next stage, in the form of a subsidy worth a total of CZK 26 million.”

Pospíšil also hopes that the younger generation will visit the museum as part of their school education, as many surveys in recent times have shown that they forget the country’s modern history.

The Museum of the 20th Century was founded by the City of Prague in 2019 and is a long-term effort to create a memory institution focused on key events of the 20th century in Czechoslovakia. The museum is preparing a permanent exhibition at the House of Pages in Hradčany, and an ambitious project is expected to be created in the stands of the Strahov Stadium in the future. Until then, the museum has organized many events for the public, such as lectures, seminars, debates, conferences, film festivals, or historical walks to significant places.

“We have a lot of work ahead of us. We are creating a modern memory institution that reminds us of our modern history’s bright and dark sides. We are not and will not be just a ‘totality museum,’ as some have called us. We want to offer a comprehensive and critical view of the history of the 20th century. We want to be a real Museum of the 20th Century. Thank you for your support,” said Jiří Šesták, the director of the Museum of the 20th Century, in a press release.