If Milan Rastislav Štefánik was alive today, he would turn 140 years old on 21 July this year. Last year saw 100 years since his death. To mark the two anniversaries, the Slovak National Museum and the National Museum (Prague) created a unique exhibition dedicated to this important figure in the Czechoslovak history.
As a politician and soldier, Štefánik was fundamentally involved in the establishment of Czechoslovakia in 1918. His close contacts with the top politicians of France and Italy helped T. G. Masaryk, soon the first President of Czechoslovakia, to work his way into the highest political circles, facilitating the establishment of Czechoslovakia. Among other things, Štefánik’s military career in the exhibition is represented by two flags borrowed from les Invalides, Paris.
Nevertheless, Štefánik was an astronomer for most of his professional life. His journey and scientific achievements were an inseparable part of his life, just as his passion for photography and illusionism.
But we will show you his “afterlife” too – one of the building his “cult” in the period of the First Czechoslovak Republic and the Slovak Republic, as well as the attempts by the Communist state to forget his name and erase him from national history.
A special place in the exhibition is taken by the story and the fate of the original items that were taken by the story and the fate of the original items that were transferred from his Paris apartment to Prague and then to Slovakia after his death. We will also show you the efforts to save them after 1948. The unique exhibits come from the collections of the Slovak National Museum (SNM), the Slovak Museum of Balneology in Piešťany, and the Slovak Technical Museum Košice.