Exhibitions (7.3.2008-20.4.2008)

Czech Museum of Music Six Years After 2002 Floods

The Rescue of Music Muse

Location: Czech Museum of Music, Karmelitská 2/4, Praha 1

The exhibition is opened from 7th March till 21st April 2008 in the exhibition hall of the museum daily from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., except Tuesdays. In August 2002, the former Czech Music Museum buildings - the Maltese Knights Palace at Malá Strana (in the Lesser Town), the Bedřich Smetana Museum (in the Old Town) and the Terezín (Theresienstadt, North Bohemia) depositories - were flooded. The collections of the music archives, sound archives, and the music instrument collection were damaged. Six years after this event, the National Museum looks back to assess the results of the reversal of these damages. The damage was substantially minimized by the immediate dedicated work of not only the Museum staff, but also external specialists and volunteers, all of them working in extremely difficult conditions. The combined effect of repairing the damage and moving to new premises are still affecting the work of the Museum, which cares for more than a quarter of a million items. The choice of appropriate technologies and restoration techniques made it possible for more than three quarters of the affected items to return to the Music Museum. Thanks to the extensive support of the Ministry of Culture of the Czech Republic, which covered the restoration of the collections affected by the flood by more than 22 million Czech crowns, these excellent results were achieved for the Music Museum, which is a part of the National Museum. The Swiss Confederation Government offered the Czech Republic expert help, lending Technical Museum in Brno the unique vacuum lyophilisation (freeze drying) equipment for preserving the collections. The results correspond to the highest requirement level for the recovery of the dried music materials. The project of restoring the heavily damaged music instruments into a playable state, while keeping to their historic authenticity, is unique. The detailed work of the restorers usually remains hidden from the eyes of visitors. This presentation of its photographic and film documentation, together with samples of the restoration work, is therefore, a token of thanks for their wonderful work.

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