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Subject: Flood damage in the Czech Republic and Slovakia

Flood damage in the Czech Republic and Slovakia

From: Ann Russell <annr>
Date: Friday, August 16, 2002
Below are two recent reports on flood damage in the Czech Republic
and Slovakia, from David Carsky, Vice-Chancellor of the Academy of
Fine Art and Design in Bratislava.

August 15, 2002

    Indeed, the amount of water coming from Austria is worrying.
    Soldiers are filling sandbags and trying to protect the city,
    however, it looks like some damage is inevitable. In Bratislava,
    the water level of the Danube is supposed to culminate tomorrow
    (Friday) morning. The damage it has caused in Austria is
    enormous. And it's virtually breaking my heart when I hear of
    Prague, my beloved historical center, the Kampa, Mala Strana,
    and other parts. Mentioning Kampa, just recently they've
    reconstructed a wonderful historical building right on the bank
    of Vltava river, it is called "Sovovy mlyny". The Chancellor and
    I went to its opening abut a month ago. It was showing a
    collection of distinguished modern artist (Czech and Slovak).

    The whole project was sponsored by the collector, Mrs. Meda
    Mladek from Washington, D.C. who owns one of the most remarkable
    collections of works by Frantisek Kupka. Anyway, that
    newly-renovated building is now under water (a significant part
    of it) but I believe they were able to take the paintings away
    on time. I've heard the same about the Klementinum Library and
    other institutions. They were warned ahead of time and took
    precautions, however, nobody has anticipated such enormous

August 16, 2002

    By now we can say according to the authorities) that the worst
    is over, at least for Bratislava. The Danube is now receding
    (finally) and we were "lucky" because it didn't significantly
    flow out of its banks in the Old City. Still, the Slovak
    National Gallery has in advance evacuated the deposit of modern
    art (4,000 paintings), which is located in the basement. Since
    our downtown building is relatively close to the river, we have
    prepared some sandbags, these were still in the driveway this

    As you may have heard in the news, the Vltava river is receding
    as well. The damage in Prague's historical district is enormous.
    Yesterday, Italian conservators from Florence have offered help.
    I can imagine that any help of experts will be appreciated. I'm
    a bit worried though that all the attention is concentrating on
    Prague, other Czech cities with virtually historical "jewels",
    which were heavily affected (e.g. Cesky Krumlov), are not
    getting so much international publicity. I'm sure help would be
    appreciated there as well. I've also heard of the Northern
    Bohemian town of Terezin, the site of a former
    nazi-concentration camp, which is now a holocaust museum. Their
    valuable archives might have been damaged since they were not
    able to save everything in time.

Ann Russell
Executive Director
Northeast Document Conservation Center
100 Brickstone Square
Andover, MA  01810
Fax: 978-475-6021

                  Conservation DistList Instance 16:12
                 Distributed: Tuesday, August 20, 2002
                       Message Id: cdl-16-12-001
Received on Friday, 16 August, 2002

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