The Old Town Square, the most visited place in the Czech Republic, is expecting big changes. If you have ever been there, you probably remember the monument of Jan Hus, a fearless protestant who got burned at the stake in 1415. Now they want to put another monument next to him – a controversial, 16-meter tall Marian column. It was actually part of the Old Town Square architectural set up until a mob toppled it in 1918 to rid the capital of the new Czechoslovak republic of a symbol of catholic Habsburg oppression. You see, originally the Marian column was built in 1650 to commemorate the Habsburg victory over the Swedes. Do you see the dilema?
The supporters are representatives from the Catholic community, mostly historians and artists, who argue that the column is an important element of Prague’s historical center.
The opponents on the other hand, think the idea is absurd. They think the Marian column is a symbol of the humiliation of the Czech people (Habsburg oppression of the Czech people during the Austrian-Habsburg Monarchy). “Replacing it would be similar to, for example, re-building the statue of Stalin at Letna”, says Lenka Prochazkova, a Czech writer.
What do you think? Which side are you leaning to?
CZ: Staromestske Namesti ceka dobrodruzna budoucnost! Ma se na nem totiz nejdele do roka tycit novostary Mariansky sloup. Proc novostary? Byl tu jiz postaven roku 1652, jako pripominka Habsburskeho porazeni Svedu a tudiz konce Tricetilete valky. Byl ale v roce 1918 porazen povstalci, kteri ho naopak videli jako znak katolicke a rakouske nadvlady. Dnesni odpurci tohoto sloupu to vidi stale take tak. Ti co o jeho navratat usiluji, jsou vetsinou katolicti umelci a historici, kteri ho pokladaji za nezamenitelnou cast prazskeho historickeho centra.
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