The statue of the famous Czech nobleman and Austrian field marshal Josef Radecký had once stood in the Lesser Town square from 1858 to 1919 when it was removed due to objections from Italian diplomats.
Now, Prague 1, and many other supporters of the chief of the general staff in the Habsburg Monarchy late in the Napoleonic Wars, are supporting the return of Marshal Radecký.
However, there is a lot of confusion about whether they will be able to reinstall it.
Jan Bárta, chairman of the Radecký Association, which seeks to return the work back to Malá Strana, added that they need a clear yes or no answer from politicians regarding the status of the monument.
Currently, the representatives of the association have spent approximately 62 thousand crowns on preparatory project work, and they have managed to collect about 400 thousand crowns in the public collection. There are now 1,700 signatures under the petition for the restoration of the work.
The return of the statue of Marshal Radecký also has the support of the City Hall of Prague 1.
“Marshal Radecký was one of our most important military figures and I do not hide that I am one of the supporters of the reinstallation of this sculptural work,” said the mayor of Prague 1, Petr Hejma, about the return of the monument.
The statue cannot be returned to where it originally stood, ie to today’s Malostranské náměstí tram stop.
Experts, therefore, propose to erect it, for example, opposite Malostranská beseda at the former Jesuit Professional House, later the Provincial Court.
“The monument should be designed according to the original drawing documentation and period photographs, preserving the original proportions and profiling,” described the restoration of the study’s sculpture. The association estimated the cost of obtaining a copy of the statue at 20 million crowns.
Opponents of Radecký perceive the Habsburgs as Czech helpers, and supporters of the return offer them dialogue.
Since 1918, the argument about Italian resistance against the monument to an excellent military leader who repeatedly defeated them on the battlefields in the north of the Apennine Peninsula has been repeated.
In addition, the Italian Embassy is very close to Lesser Town Square.
However, Radecký’s supporters have now resolved this objection and turned to the Italian ambassador Mauro Marsili.
“Italy will have no objections if our authorities decide to restore the monument to Radecký,” commented Barta’s diplomat’s reply.
The monument originally reached a height of over ten meters, it was enclosed by four stone columns with a chain on a square floor plan measuring about nine times nine meters. The metalworkers used ten tons of material cast from cannons for the production.
The work disappeared from Malostranské náměstí after the establishment of the Republic in 1918.
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