On the occasion of the anniversary of the Velvet Revolution, the National Museum has prepared a whole set of events, both in Prague and abroad. In cooperation with Czech Centres and the Slovak National Museum, we are presenting a travelling exhibition called The Velvet Revolution, which will visit ten places altogether in Europe and oversees. Concurrently, a complex exhibition project has been prepared in the Historical and New Buildings of the National Museum, consisting of four thematic units.
The Velvet Revolution Exhibition
A unique exhibition complex dedicated to the thirtieth anniversary of 1989 is opening in the Historical Building, the Connecting Corridor and the New Building on 17. 11. 2019. There will be free admission during the first week of the exhibition celebrating the November anniversary.
Historical Building of the National Museum
The revolution that changed the life of Czechoslovak people came unexpectedly. As a radical turning point in history, it has not ceased to resonate in our society. It has inspired many, while irritating others. Yet we all relate to it in some way. Year after year the memory is revived, and part of it disappears irrevocably with the departure of its actors. Each year a new part of the mosaic, which will likely never be completed for good, comes to light. Despite this, we put it together repeatedly, never to forget.
The exhibition prepared by the National Museum puts the Velvet Revolution in a double context. It focuses on the events of the second half of the 1980s which foreshadowed the crisis in society and politics. At the same time, it shows how the communist state was unable to deal with basic issues related to the environment, cultural development and the Church. In its final part, it shows the dynamic development of the society and its transformation in the first half year by the time of the 1990 election. The exhibition is based on original objects, posters and recollections.
New Building of the National Museum
The National Museum holds one of the largest collections of posters relating to 1989–1990 in the Czech Republic. Although the posters are a product of their time, they reflect topics that we are still dealing with even today, such as pollution, the position of minorities and becoming reconciled to the past.
New Building of the National Museum
The New Building of the National Museum has a special place in the history of Czechoslovakia. At the time of the Velvet Revolution, it was a seat of the Federal Assembly, which elected Václav Havel as President of Czechoslovakia and passed hundreds of laws that led Czechoslovakia to democracy. After long 40 years, Members of Parliament elected in free elections sat on the benches of the Federal Assembly. The exhibition will put the selected Members of Parliament back in the Federal Assembly based on the information they entered in questionnaires after being elected in June 1990.
On 17. 11. 2019, the National Museum opens a singular multi-media exhibition in the connecting corridor, which is dedicated to the tumultuous events of the 20th century that took place in Wenceslas Square, from the foundation of Czechoslovakia to the turn of the millennium. It will also give a glimpse of the everyday life of this space. The second multimedia programme is dedicated to the architectural development of this place, from the 19th century to the present. This is a unique multimedia project which is unparalleled in Europe with regard to its technological and projection features.
In a 10-minutes video mapping, we will commemorate the Velvet Revolution in the context of the fall of the iron curtain and the communist regime. The main topics of the video mapping are the enforcement of the closure of the state borders, the division of the world and the Czechoslovak society and the role of important personalities during the upcoming half-century. The video mapping starts on November 17, at 7.30 pm and 10.00 pm.
The Velvet Revolution exhibition, organized in cooperation with Czech Centres and the Slovak National Museum, will gradually appear in the destinations listed below. The exhibition includes audio-visual materials from the time of the 1989/1990 social changes.
- Berlin, from 10. 9. 2019
- Vienna, from 24. 10. 2019
- New York, from 30. 10. 2019
- Brussels, from 13. 11. 2019
- Paris, from 13. 11. 2019
- Riga, from 13. 11. 2019
- Vilnius, 15. 11. 2019
- St. Petersburg, from 19. 11. 2019
- Budapest, from 19. 11. 2019
- Moscow, from 6. 12. 2019