Renovation of Jan Hus statue surrounded by controversies
In April the statue of Jan Hus dominating the Old Town Square was surrounded by scaffolding and covered up in large canvas to undergo vast renovation, which will take at least two years. In the meantime, tourists visiting the site will only see a huge advertisement in its place. This week the media reported that the scaffolding was causing damage to the statue: rust from the wire mesh, which holds the ad in place, has been dripping down, leaving orange stains on the stone.
"We have put up the wire mesh mainly to prevent people entering the building site. It's true it was not treated sufficiently and there was rust, which occasionally dripped off when it rained. But we have already removed the wire as well as the rust that stained the statue. Our restorers easily cleaned it with water. I have a report here saying that the rust has not had a bad influence."
Although Pavel Rejchrt admits that his agency may have made a mistake, he believes the problem could have been resolved without the attention of media and that it certainly wasn't necessary to take legal action:
"What strikes me is the approach of the restorers' union. I know some of the members. They could have just called and told us there was a problem and that we should do something about it. This is really not necessary. The administrator of the monument, City Gallery Prague, also finds it absurd. The rust stains have no negative effect. And it's just ridiculous to deal with the problem by filing a complaint."
"Because this method is ineffective. I have similar experience with the National Theatre, where bits of statues were falling down. We contacted the media and the next day there were workers already fixing the problem. And the same goes in this case. The next day, workers came to fix the problem and the monument is not damaged anymore. These officials have to be punished because these things happen on a daily basis. Unprofessional steps have caused damage to the St Vitus Cathedral. It's always the same people at the ministries and the authorities and you simply can't get justice through the official channels."