Prague authorities want building where Palach died turned into museum

Prague City Hall has opened negotiations aimed at buying the building where Jan Palach died with a view to it being turned into a museum of totalitarianism, the news website dení reported. The now rundown former Borůvka Sanatorium on Legerová St. is also where priest Josef Toufar died after being tortured by the communist-era secret police.

The current owners of the building, which is a short walk from the National Museum, received permission last year to convert it into a luxury hotel.

Prague’s mayor, Zdeněk Hřib of the Pirate Party, told dení that the city would abandon its plan if the owners demanded an excessive sum for the property. The Prague 2 authorities say the location, where traffic is very heavy, would be inappropriate.

Up to now a space beneath where a statue of Stalin stood on Letná Plain has been in the frame to house a new museum of totalitarianism.

Author: Ian Willoughby