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Exhibition of the work of The Friends in Prague

5Q9A0822CopyImmediately after the Velvet Revolution The Friends’ founders Ian Kennaway of the National Trust and Barbara Peacock, an architectural historian, started to forge contacts and organise a programme of co-operation with the Czech heritage professionals and experts at the National Heritage Institute (NPÚ). The long years of experience and exchange of skills and expertise between the British and Czech heritage workers since 1990 led to the foundation of The Friends of Czech Heritage in 2007, numerous conservation projects and thousands of man hours of physical work on Czech heritage sites. The NPÚ has been a partner to The Friends from the very beginning of the process.

On 13th July 2022, in the splendour of Ledebour Gardens at the foot of Prague Castle, and in the presence of HE Mr Nick Archer MVO, Her Majesty’s Ambassador to the Czech Republic, an exhibition featuring The Friends’ projects in the country opened to the public with a meeting of the representatives of The Friends and their supporters and NPÚ experts and managers. The gardens of the Ledebour Palace were chosen by the NPÚ in honour of the long-standing British tradition of helping Czech historic monuments. The Ledebour Gardens, together with the neighbouring gardens of the Pálffy Palace, were restored in the 1990s with the support of the Prague Heritage Fund established by the heir to the British throne, HRH Prince Charles, and President Václav Havel in 1992. Mrs. Naděžda Goryczková, Director General of the NPÚ, thanked The Friends in her opening speech for providing the opportunities and sometimes financial help to learn and improve specialist skills. As a result, the presentation of NPÚ properties to visitors has evolved, helping to achieve highly-valued, world-class status, while some historic monuments (such as the Château of Uherčice) were literally saved from certain destruction. She also expressed her thanks to the late Peter Kysel, The Friends’ Treasurer, who helped to organise the exhibition.

The exhibition remains in the Ledebour Gardens until the end of October 2022 and will be moved to another NPÚ property for the 2023 season.

Image courtesy of the NPÚ

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