President Beneš’ villa opened to the public

The villa of the late Czechoslovak president Edvard Beneš, co-founder of the Czechoslovak Republic in 1918, was opened to the public on Thursday, on the 125th anniversary of his birth. Beneš was the second Czechoslovak president after Tomáš Garrigue Masaryk, serving from 1935 until his resignation in October 1938, shortly after he signed the Munich agreement that dismembered the country. He was also president in 1945-48, and held the post in the exile Czechoslovak government in London in 1940-1945. It was the wish of Beneš' wife, Hana, who died in 1974, that the villa serve the public. Its reconstruction cost 20 million crowns.