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INDEX 2002
final report 2003
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 Report: floods and damages in Saxony
flash floods  -  Elbe floods  -  Summary
1st Catastrophe: Flash Floods from the Mountains

On monday 12th august heavy and permanent rainfall in central Erzgebirge (the mountain range along the border between Saxony and the Czech Republic) exceeded all records: up to 300 litres per square meter! Small rivers turned into torrents; roads, railways and houses in the valleys were devastated. 

People were surprised and shocked by this never before experienced force. Museums in the mountain valleys had no time to react. Old mills - very important heritage monuments of preindustrial activities - were heavily destroyed. 

The mountain rivers (Zwickauer Mulde, Chemnitz, Flöha, Zschopau, Striegis, Freiberger Mulde:  more details in German) proceeded with their destroying power in lower areas. About 100 km northward all these rivers merge to the Mulde. The first town after the confluence, Grimma, was hit by the rushing floods in an never experienced way. The beautiful old town centre, reconstructed during the last decade, was destroyed - even the ancient walls were completely covered by water. 

Rainfall in eastern Erzgebirge was heavy, too; it caused flash floods in several small Elbe tributarys. They destroyed many houses in valley villages and flooded parts of Dresden, Meißen and Pirna. The Weißeritz turned back to its old bed - and surprisingly quick the main railway station of Dresden, built there 150 years ago, was buried under several meters of water. The main newspaper building (office and archive) was quickly put under this unexpected water as well; staff hurried to transport the very valuable photo archive from basement to ground floor - but they couldn't expect, that it would be completely destroyed there. Only the city hospital could be defended. 

All museums (except one external magazine) in that area managed it to rescue their objects from basement and ground floor magazines. In an incredible effort within a few hours the Dresden State Art Collections transported more than 10.000 paintings and sculptures of very high value to upper levels.

18 Museums were affected in the Mulde area, 13 in the Elbe area. But many of the devastated towns (e.G. Aue, Bad Düben, Döbeln, Dohna, Freital, Glashütte, Waldheim, Weesenstein, Wurzen) had no damages at their museums, because of their elevated situation.

2nd Catastrophe: Elbe Floods

The same rainfall had caused severe floods also in the Czech Republik, especially in the valleys of the Ohre / Eger and the Moldava / Moldau. These main tributaries to the Elbe caused - with a delay of some days - the second catastrophe. The Elbe river has exceeded the highest water mark ever recorded by about 1 meter! Near Dresden in dry summers water-mark falls below 2 meters - now it surpassed 9 meters!

This time the museums had been well prepared, therefore no object was damaged. But basements (Dresden) and  ground floors (Meißen, Pirna, Bad Schandau) of many museums had heavy damages in building structure as well as technical equipment. 8 museums of Dresden State Art Collections were hit as well as 6 other museums.


Saxony has experienced the worst floods in over one hundred years. More than 400 miles of roads and 180 bridges have been damaged or destroyed. Over thirty thousand people had to evacuate their homes; thousands have been made homeless. And the worst: In the valleys floods have wiped out the great economic and building reconstruction effort of the past decade.

30 museums, the Dresden State Art Collections (8 museums) and several Castles and Parks were affected (about 10% of Saxonian museums). The first asessment is a very disunited one: Objects saved - buildings ruined!

Despite the fact that the first floods came very unexpectedly and that both floods exceeded all previous experience, Saxonian museums managed it to bring nearly all objcets to safe places. Less than 100 objects (worth: max. 50.000 €) were completely lost or destroyed! The restoration of the objects in contact with floods will cost about 1 mio
€. Considering the heavy losses in Archives and Libraries as well as the general damage balance in Germany (estimated 30.000 mio €) and the Czech Republic Saxonian museums are very relieved and grateful. It seems
to be half a miracle - but not a supernatural one! It was a very courageous and professional action of museum staff as well as of hundeds of volunteers engaged in saving their heritage.

But we have huge problems with our buildings! In ground floors and basements all sophisticated technical equipment has been destroyed: heating plants, central electric installations, air-conditioning plants, safety sytems. The (recently built and very well equipped) basement magazines of Dresden State Art Collections could not be defended agains
floods; they are destroyed and will, of course, never be used again for art collections.

So museums need money not only for repair of buildings and for new technical equipment, but also for finding and realizing new solutions for functions upto now placed in basements. State, distict and municipal administraions alone cannot cope with these museum problems (estimated more than 20 mio €), especially because these authorities have (much bigger) financial problems to solve in every field of infrastructure (river repairs; roads, railways and bridges; sewerage and imbedding of cables; public buildings) and have to support the local industry, craft and trade as well as homeless citizens. So there is a big demand for donations - from Germany and from abroad!

Index  - Home More Details (in German)

 All Affected Museums in Germany
go to special page
Antonsthal: Silver Stamp-Mill ("Silberwaesche")
Bad Dueben: Dueben Heath Countryside Museum - Castle Dueben
Bad Schandau: * Local History Museum
Braunsdorf: Historic Weaving-Mill ("Tannenhauer")
Chemnitz-Klaffenbach: Saxon Vehicle Museum
Dippoldiswalde: Tannery, Dippoldiswalde and District Museum
Dresden: German Hygiene-Museum
Dresden: Kraszewski-Museum (City Museum)
Dresden: Dresden State Art Collections
                    The Dresden Armoury (in: Zwinger)
                    Old Masters Picture Gallery (in: Zwinger)
                    Mathematical-Physical Salon (in: Zwinger)
                    Modern Masters Picture Gallery (in: Albertinum)
                    Museum of Arts and Crafts (in: Pillnitz Castle)
                     Museum of Saxon Folk Art (in: Jägerhof)
                    Palace Exhibition and Hausmann Tower (in: Former Royal Palace)
                    Sculpture Collection (in: Albertinum)
Dresden: City Museum
Dresden: Transport Museum
Eilenburg: Eilenburg Museum
Frohnau: Historic Forge
Grimma: Grimma District Museum
Hainichen: Gellert Museum
Klosterbuch: Buch Monastery
Meissen: Meissen Museum
Meißen: * Pianoforte-Museum Thürmer
Nossen: Altzella Monastery
Oederan: Historic Weaving-Mill (Oederan Museum)
Olbernhau: Copper Foundry and Forge "Grünthal" 
Olbernhau: Local Heritage Center
Pirna: Pirna Museum
Pockau: Historic Oil Mill
Rittersgruen: Saxon Narrow Gauge Railway Museum
Rittersgruen: Historic Pulp Factory ("Weigel")
Woerlitz: Garden World (UNESCO World Heritage)
Zinnwald: Mining Museum
Zwoenitz: Historic Paper Mill Niederzwoenitz
*    still closed
Index  - Home German Version

 Reports on Czech museums
Terezin: Lesser Fortress (Gestapo prison)

First estimate of damage caused on cultural institutions in the Czech Republic
(Press release of the Ministry of Culture of the Czech Republic from 21 August, 2002)

This first estimate is very approximate and deals mainly with cultural heritage and institutions under the care of the State; private property could not be estimated yet in most of the cases. 

Historical monuments and sites  181.300.000 CZK (6.043.400 EUR)

Museums and galleries: 
                public                  1.411.000.000 CZK (47.040.000 EUR)
                private                 240.000.000 CZK (8.000.000 EUR)

                public                  20.220.000 CZK (674.000 EUR)
                private                 361.515.000 CZK (12.050.500 EUR)

Churches and buildings of the Church: 
                so far                  30.200.000 CZK (1.007.000 EUR)

Theatres:                               47.800.000 CZK (1.593.400 EUR)

Music:                          26.807.000 CZK (893.600 EUR)

TOTAL:                          2. 318.842.000 CZK (77.301.900 EUR)

Survey of museums in the Czech Republic, 
affected by the catastrophic floods of August 2002

Compiled by the secretariat of the Museums and Galleries Association of
the Czech Republic (AMG)


Prague City Gallery
Mickiewiczova 3, Praha 6, 160 00; tel.: +420 2 33321200; 
e-mail: ghmp@volny.cz; <mailto:ghmp@volny.cz;>
Contact: Dr. Petra Hoftichová, tel. +420 2 33324170

Chateau Troja:
-       the garden completely flooded, as well as part of the outdoor sculptures*and objects located near the lower wall;
-       the underground floor of the chateau was under water - there were the Gallery's storages, but a major part had been evacuated, so that damage occurred on technical equipment and a small part of the storage (sculpture collection).

Houses "U kamenného zvonu" and "U prstenu" (Staromìstské Square):
-       slightly damaged buildings due to penetration of underwater, resp. canalisation
-       exhibitions in both exhibition buildings had been evacuated in time, only the installation of Frederico Diaz, which is integral part of the building "U prstenu", was damaged; damaged workshops and storage area.

Prague City Museum
Ko¾ná 1/475, Praha 1, 110 00; tel.: +420 2 24223696-8; 
e-mail: muzeum.prahy@muzeum.mepnet.cz;
<mailto:muzeum.prahy@muzeum.mepnet.cz;> www.muzeumprahy.cz
Director: Dr. Zuzana Strnadová, tel.: +420 2 24235218; 
e-mail: zuzana.strnadova@muzeumprahy.cz

Main museum building (Poøíèí Street):
-       the lowest level of cellars has been flooded; 
-       collection items deposited there had been evacuated in time to the higher floors of the building. 

"Podskalská Customs Office" (Na Výtoni Street): 
-       this important monument is located in the endangered area and has been completely flooded; 
-       the building has been undergoing general refurbishment, so that there were no exhibitions installed. 

The National Gallery
Staromìstské nám. 12, Praha 1, 110 15; tel.: +420 2 24810758; 
e-mail: tisk@ngprague.cz; <mailto:tisk@ngprague.cz;>
Director General: Prof. Milan Kní¾ák Dr. A.

Buildings of St Agnes Convent and Zbraslav Chateau have been flooded.
For more information, contact the press office of the National Gallery. 

The National Museum
Václavské nám. 68, Praha 1, 115 79; tel.: +420 2 24497111; 
e-mail: nm@nm.cz; <mailto:nm@nm.cz;> <http://www.nm.cz/>
Director General: PhDr. Michal Luke¹
Contact: Lenka Edrová, press office of the National Museum
tel. +420 2 24497376, e-mail: lektori@nm.cz <mailto:lektori@nm.cz>

"Velkopøevorský" Palace:
-       a part of the sheet music archive has been damaged by water, no other collection items damaged. 

Smetana Museum:
-       collection items had been evacuated in time, no losses reported.

Libìchov Chateau:
-       the building has been flooded up to the second floor level, the whole complex including the park is totally devastated; 
-       the recently restored mural painting are damaged by water;
-       several heavy pieces of furniture have been damaged, while all the other Non-European collections were safeguarded in time. 

Náprstek Museum:
-       the underground floor was flooded, but evacuated in time. No collection items suffered. 

Tyr¹ Museum of Physical Training and Sports:
-       the building is in the flood area, but collection items suffered.

Central Storage of the Historical Museum in Terezín:
-       two buildings in the Old Town centre have been flooded up to the height of two meters. Approximately 20,000 books of the National Museum Library have been soaked there;
-       the flood further damaged collection items of various type which were not possible to evacuate in time;
-       both buildings have destroyed infrastructure and are seriously damaged. 

National Technical Museum
Kostelní 42, Praha 7, 170 78; tel.: +420 2 20399111; 
e-mail: info@ntm.cz; <mailto:info@ntm.cz;> <http://www.ntm.cz>
Contact: Ing. Zdenìk Rasl, tel.: +420 605-971573

The "Invalids" building in Praha-Karlín
-       store-rooms have been completely flooded, the huge archive of architecture and the Archive of history of technology and industry;
-       measures had been taken to protect the building up to the height of one meter above the 1890 flood, but water finally rose more that 3 meters above that level;
-       the flooded collections include items of electrotechnics, engineering, chemistry, architecture and construction, metallurgy, textile production, architecture designs of numerous 19th and 20th century architects, many personal archives and legacies of prominent personalities of Czech technology, architecture, industry and science, a huge collection of photographic negatives and positives dating of 1880-1970, the documentation of the aeronautics archive, etc. 

Postal Museum
Vávrùv dùm, Nové Mlýny 2, Praha 1, 110 00, tel. +420 2 2312006, 
e-mail: museumcp@pha.putmet.cz, <mailto:museumcp@pha.putmet.cz,>
Director: Dr. Pavel Ètvrtník, tel. 02/2315595

-       the museum building - cellar and ground floor - has been flooded up to the height of 60 cm;
-       in two days, all the endangered collections had been evacuated, so that no collections suffered, with the exception of engraved and printing plates for Czechoslovak stamps. 

The Jewish Museum
U staré ¹koly 1, Praha 1, 110 01; tel.: +420 2 24266953; 
e-mail: office@jewishmuseum.cz; <mailto:office@jewishmuseum.cz;>
Director: Dr. Leo Pavlát, tel.: 02/21711510

All the collection items in all the building had been evacuated in time.

Main museum building in U Staré ¹koly Street:
-       the new technical equipment installed in 2001 was completely destroyed. 

Pinkas Synagogue:
-       the recently renovated inscriptions on the walls, commemorating
victims of the Holocaust, were destroyed up to the height of 2 meters. 

"Old-New" Synagogue: 
-       the building has been flooded. 

Maisel Synagogue, Klaus Synagogue, Spanish Synagogue:
-       water did not directly accede to the buildings, but due to capillary humidity from the ground the walls have to be rehabilitated. 

Plzeò (Pilsen) Region

No serious damage on museums occurred. 

©umava Museum in Su¹ice - slightly flooded underground floor. 
Museum of Western Bohemia in Pilsen - flooded underground floor.
Art Museum of Western Bohemia in Pilsen - increased humidity. 
Regional Museum in Klatovy - flooded cellars of folk architecture
buildings in Chanovice, destroyed access road. 

South Bohemia Region

Museum of South Bohemia in Èeské Budìjovice
Dukelská 1, Èeské Budìjovice, 370 51; tel.: +420 38 7311528-9; 
e-mail: muzeumcb@muzeumcb.cz; <mailto:muzeumcb@muzeumcb.cz;>
Director: Mgr. Pavel ©afr, tel.: +420 38 635 6447

The underground and ground floors were heavily flooded, all the administration of the museum is destroyed, as well as offices, conservation workshop and publications storage. The building needs general refurbishment. Collection items from the exhibition halls were evacuated in time up to the higher floors. 

Prácheò Museum in Písek
Velké nám. 114, Písek, 397 24; tel.: +420 362 801111, 214731, 217161; 
e-mail: prachmuz@pi.bohem-net.cz; <mailto:prachmuz@pi.bohem-net.cz;>
Director: Václav Barto¹, tel.: +420 362 213532

Písek municipal electric plant - Museum of town lighting: 
-       water has completely destroyed the permanent exhibition, but collection items were safeguarded. 

Church of the Holy Trinity: 
-       water has destroyed the whole interior of the church - historical door, valuable organ and technical equipment (the museum was using the church as concert and exhibition hall);
-       the unique Renaissance pulpit has been dismantled and evacuated.

Memorial of the town of Protivín:
-       heavy rain has damaged the building's roof. 

Museum of Middle Otava Region in Strakonice
Hrad I/1, Strakonice, 386 01; tel.: +420 342 321 537; 
e-mail: muzeum@strakonice.cz <mailto:muzeum@strakonice.cz>
Director: Dr. Ivana Øíhová, tel.: +420 342 23391, +420 603 161 867

-       water from Otava river acceded the first and third castle courtyards;
-       store-rooms of archaeology, textile and shoes have been flooded, as well as storage of exhibition installation material;
-       the castle gallery had been evacuated, however, several graphics and lithographs for commission sale were destroyed together with installation equipment;
-       museum exhibitions and other store-rooms were out of danger. 

Central Bohemia Region 

City Museum in Kralupy nad Vltavou
Vrchlického 590, Kralupy nad Vltavou, 278 01; tel.: +420 205 723035
Director: PaedDr. Jan Racek, tel.: +420 205 723035

-       the museum building is flooded in the underground and ground floors (technical infrastructure and exhibition of archaeology);
-       collection items from the recently opened archaeological exhibition have been evacuated, but the installation equipment is destroyed;
-       the gallery located on the ground floor has been evacuated; however, the acquisitions library and ethnographic material store-room suffered. 

Obøíství - Lamberk, Bedøich Smetana Memorial 
Obøíství - Lamberk 12, 277 42
Director: Dr. Miloslava Havlíèková, Regional Museum in Mìlník, tel. +420 206 621616
e-mail: havlickova@muzeum-melnik.cz <mailto:havlickova@muzeum-melnik.cz>

-       water has destroyed installation equipment and technical infrastructure;
-       all collection items have been evacuated. 

Museum of Central Bohemia, Roztoky u Prah
Zámek èp. 1, Roztoky u Prahy, 252 63; tel.: +420 2 20910016, +420 2 20910017; 
e-mail: smr@smr.anet.cz; <mailto:smr@smr.anet.cz;>
Director: Mgr. Eva Bala¹tíková, tel.: +420 2 20911015

-       the buildings (8 in total in the complex of the chateau and Brauner's mill) were completely drowned in water, the total estimate of damage is not available yet;
-       damage in the specialist library and archive, store-room of folk furniture;
-       permanent exhibitions completely destroyed;
-       unique conservation workplaces and laboratories, technical infrastructure flooded;
-       store-rooms located in the attic were preserved safely. 

Ústí nad Labem Region 

Terezín Memorial, national cultural monument
Principova alej, Terezín, 411 55; tel.: +420 416 782225, 782442, 782131;

e-mail: sekretariat@pamatnik-terezin.cz;
Director: PhDr. Jan Munk, CSc., tel.: +420 416 782225

The large museum complex, including the "Small Fortress", the national cemetery, the Museum of the Ghetto, the crematorium at the Jewish cemetery, the columbarium, the central morgue, the former Magdeburg barracks and the Meeting Centre building - all this has been completely flooded, and the damage is immense.

Katerina Tlachová (ICOM-CR): Report on Museums (29. 8.)

ICOM Czech Republic
Katerina Tlachová

Brno, 29 August, 2002

Dear Colleagues, 

As you may know from the media, a major part of the Czech Republic has recently been affected by heavy floods. There are serious problems, especially in Prague, north, south and west Bohemia; towns, villages, roads have suffered a lot. Although people's lives and homes are now the prime concern of everybody here, the time is coming to evaluate also the damage on cultural heritage - historical towns, chateaux, monuments, museums and collections - the losses are estimated in billions of Czech crowns. 

In Prague, buildings of the National Museum, the National Gallery, the Jewish Museum, the Kampa Museum and others were flooded; in the South-Bohemian town of Cesky Krumlov, listed in the UNESCO world
heritage, the well-known Egon Schiele Centre was under water. 

Nevertheless, there are many more affected cultural heritage institutions in the country that suffered serious damage: In the Prague city district of Karlin, the building of "Invalids", housing the collections of the National technical Museum including the archives of architecture, history of industry and material of the Army History Archive, found themselves at the bottom of a three-meters deep lake. 

At the Museum of Central Bohemia in Roztoky near Prague, where water was reaching the second-floor level, interesting and modern exhibitions were completely destroyed together with the archaeological collection.
Unfortunately, the same fate met the unique conservation workplaces, which were used by cultural heritage institutions all over the country: the radiation room (used for rehabilitation of objects infested by
insects, cobalt radioisotope 60Co) and the plasma-chemical conservation laboratory (developed in the 1990s in cooperation with the National Museum of Switzerland in Zurich, and using the method of plasma
reduction in treatment of historical and archaeological metal objects). 

The town and fortress of Terezin, a national cultural monument, commemorating WW II and the Holocaust, was completely under water. The damage caused on the fortress itself, the Museum of the Ghetto, the National Cemetery and other monuments, all recently renovated, are immense. Also the Central Storage of the National Museum in Terezin was flooded.

However, we can proudly announce that with only a few exceptions, collection items were evacuated in time from exhibitions and storerooms located in the buildings' lower floors. This was made possible by the extreme zeal of all museum staff members, who did not spare any effort to save the collections, often to the detriment of their own homes. We gratefully acknowledge their work and express our gratitude. 

The most serious damage then occurred on the museum buildings - almost all of them are listed historical monuments, and quite a few of them will now have to face general renovation. Besides the enormous material
losses on technology (computers, air-conditioning systems, etc.), equipment and furniture, the thoroughly soaked walls and floors will seriously influence on the microclimate and subsequently, on the condition of stored collections. If the buildings are not dried up in relatively short time, we will be facing a "second flood" for the collections, due to the extreme humidity in the buildings. 

A major problem that appeared immediately after the water left, was how to save archive material and books kept in museums. Knowing that the most efficient immediate remedy for paper flooded by water is deep-freezing, works were directed in that way. A "central depository" for soaked paper was found in the cooling chambers of Mochov food plant, and wet archive, museum and library collections, as well as the agenda of several other offices, have been deposited there. However, we are aware that simple deep-freezing does not mean safeguarding of the
collections. Now, hundreds of conservators would be needed to dry up and clean the items, so that to restore them in their original condition of human memory media. 

In this fight, museums stand close to the other cultural heritage preservation institutions - archives and libraries. Although a lot has been done in the past years thanks to the international Blue Shield scheme in order to develop a common methodology for solving emergency situations, there is still a lot to improve. 

We are very touched by the tremendous solidarity within the museum field. Since the culmination moment of the flood-wave in Prague, there is a constant flow of offers of professional advice, manpower and financial contributions for the affected institutions. The Museums and Galleries Association of the Czech Republic has launched a public
fund-raising campaign to help Czech museums damaged by the flood. The gathered finances will be distributed by the Association's Senate (upon recommendation of an expert working group) directly to the museums in need. The bank account number is 27-7705500277/0100, at Komercni banka in Prague (designation of payment: constant symbol 0558, variable symbol 9999).

On behalf of the Czech museums, we would like to express our most sincere thanks to all of you who have manifested your interest, provided support and offered help. It came very quickly and in large amount, and
we really appreciate it a lot. At the moment, physical help does not seem to be needed any more. What is urgent, though, is equipment and money - as already mentioned, hundreds of drier units will be needed to restore the soaked buildings and to provide for sustainable climate for collection storage. Later, when the buildings will have been cleaned and working conditions will be approaching the standards again, we will definitely need all kind of conservation equipment and material, professional consultancy, as well as physical help of skilled conservators. 

Most of the museums in the flooded areas strive to re-open their doors to the public as soon as possible: So do come and support us with your visit! 

Yours sincerely, 

Katka Tlachová
Chair of the Czech Committee of ICOM

Plea of the National Technical Museum in Prague for help to rescue the flooded Architecture Archives and other collections

The devastating flood, which hit Prague hard in the middle of August, heavily damaged the National Technical Museum archives and collections. Almost 90% of the following archives have been flooded: Industrial History Archives, unique Aviation Archives and especially the world-known Architecture Archives, which include complete heritage and documentation of the designs of the top Czech architects of the 19th and 20th centuries, but also many designs and original works by architects from all over the world. In addition, significant parts of our technical history collections were also submerged including a range of unique historical objects documenting the history of metallurgy, chemistry, machinery and electronics including its original plans and related documents. 

Most of archival material have already been secured by deep-freezing (250 m3 in total) and include the following materials:

        -       Pencil, ink and crayon sketches - on designer's glued paper and cardboard;
        -       Aquarelles;
        -       Designs on graph paper and designer's glued paper; 
        -       Blueprint and ozalide copies; 
        -       Period and contemporary photographs (of various technology).

The flood also affected the following types of architectural models:

        -       Gypsum models;
        -       Paper models;
        -       Wooden models;
        -       Metal models;
        -       Combined models.

In order to rescue the damaged documents and other items, the Museum is now preparing a special building with large utility space (2 x 300 m2) in which the frozen records should be defrosted, washed, disinfected, stabilized, dried and then registered, restored and put in a suitable storage. The building, which is conveniently located in downtown Prague is well equipped with rest rooms, offices and other handling rooms. The depository of the rescued items will be also located nearby with more office rooms (including accommodation units) available as appropriate. 

While the National Technical Museum is able to provide these spaces and basic facilities to the restorers, we totally lack the necessary technology and practical experience as well as much of special equipment for conservation/renovation works. Therefore, our Museum would urgently appreciate the following technical assistance:

        -       Portable freezers (approx. 2 m3)
        -       Spraying tubs (10 pieces: 5 rinsing and 5 germicide baths)
        -       Drying chambers and boxes (also for large documents A1 - A0)
        -       Drying tables
        -       Vacuum presses

Furthermore, the following chemicals and materials are badly needed for the processing:

        -       Suitable germicide and stabilisation solutions (also for the treatment of 10% of the records not directly damaged by water, but inflicted by mildew in humid environment)
        -       Silicone and waxed slip papers 
        -       Acid-free cardboards, record folders and boxes.

Lacking a suitable practical experience with such large-scale conservation & restoration works, we would very much appreciate if you could send expert restorers who could assist us to set up and run the workshops and provide methodological help and training for our own employees. There is also an idea behind to expand these works later into a special Training Department that would provide education and best practice examples to the Czech as well as foreign restorers. 

Since much of our original archival facilities were almost completely destroyed we would welcome also a large number of suitable wrap materials including 

        -       archival boxes
        -       drawing envelopes (A3 and A4 formats)
        -       large-size archival envelopes (A1 and A0 formats)
        -       acid-free silk paper
        -       paper boxes and envelopes for negatives (13x18 cm, 18x24 cm, 24x30 cm) 

To safe the damaged metallic objects like historical engines, electrical tools and appliances and historical telecommunication apparatuses we would be much grateful for the following facilities for a mechanical shop and conservation works, respectively:

        -       grinders
        -       polishing machines
        -       bench drilling machines
        -       rust removers
        -       preservative oils and waxes
        -       lacquers and varnishes
        -       workable plastics

Finally, in order to secure and document the respective documents and 3D historical objects, we will be much grateful for any suitable digitalisation equipment including the following:

        -       A3 scanner for reflective and transparent materials
        -       PC suitable for DTP
        -       Office category PC's (several items)
        -       A4/A3 laser colour printers (LAN)
        -       A4/A3 copiers
        -       Digital camera (s)

Obviously, except of the above listed most urgent items we will be highly grateful for any help, including financial contributions. The National Technical Museum has opened a special account for these purposes that is:

Bank account of the "Komercni banka" (Commercial Bank) No.: 51 - 2500450277/0100

Should you wish to help us by providing any specific equipment or materials, please, contact urgently the following persons for more information:

Ing. Ivo Janousek, CSc., FEng.
Phone: + 420 2 33376014, e-mail: ivo.janousek@ntm.cz 

Ing. Václav Suchy, CSc.
Phone: + 420 2 20399240, e-mail: vaclav.suchy@ntm.cz 

Ing. Zdenek Rasl
Phone: +420 2 33372001, e-mail: zdenek.rasl@ntm.cz

Thank you very much for your kind assistance in advance. 

                                                                Ing. Ivo Janousek, CSc., FEng. Director General

Terezin after the floods
Report on damage in Terezin Memorial  (photographies)
From Michal Frankl

The town Terezin and the Terezin Memorial are severely affected by floods. On Friday 16th and following Saturday the town Terezin, during war a prison to 150 thousand Jews, and Lesser Fortress, former Gestapo prison, found
itself completely under water. Photographs, which appeared in the dailies, featured for instance canoe as the only means of transport inside the townhall at the main Terezin square, or National cemetery in front of the Lesser Fortress, which became a muddy lake.

In this report I am going to describe damage sustained by Terezin Memorial. Together with volunteers from Austrian organization Gedenkdienst I took part in clearing away of flood debris; I obtained additional information from
responsible employees of the Memorial. Situation in the town:

The flood hit all objects in the town. In the following days heaps of destroyed items appeared in front of each building: furniture, appliances, personal things, books etc. In many places pavements are giving way and in
the periphery there is still water. Mud and dirt are ubiquitous. Electricity a telephone lines are only gradually restored.

Terezin Memorial:
The Terezin Memorial has undergone very positive changes in the past few years. Several expositions were opened and new educational facilities came into being. Now most of these new objects are flooded, unavailable, if not
destroyed. In many ways the memorial will have to start again from scratch. The Terezin memorial suffered damage on its furnishings, exhibition halls, educational tools and many original Terezin sights are also severely affected.

1. Lesser Fortress
Terezin Lesser Fortress, which used to be a Gestapo prison during the Second World War, was completely inundated. All the original cells and other historical objects of the jail were hit and severely damaged, including
original furnishings (bunks, floors etc.)

The worst situation is on the forth courtyard, where four-level bunks and other objects were flooded. Even the authentic scaffold, which is still under water, must have sustained major damage, just as well as the gallows.
For the same reasons it is not yet possible to calculate damage on the subterranean corridor beneath the Lesser Fortress. Reconstruction and restoration of these objects will call for large financial resources and a great part of Lesser Fortress will have to be closed for at least several months.

Exposition about Terezin before the Second World War, which was situated in the entrance halls, was completely destroyed. The exposition in the Museum of Lesser Fortress will have to be dismantled due to mould spreading
throughout the whole building. Only the exhibition about Milada Horáková in the Krankenrevier was saved.

Utterly destroyed were also offices and study halls with all the equipment on the ground floor of "Manor" (Panský dum), the main administrative building of Terezin Memorial. The only good news is that archive and library
were saved. As far as the archive is concerned, only several cardboard boxes were affected by water, in the library five meters of books were damaged. All the records and books are now frozen and await expert restoration.

2. National cemetery
National cemetery, dedicated to the victims of Terezin concentration camp and prison and located below the ground level in front of Lesser Fortress, turned into a large lake during the floods. However, professional fire brigades reacted with commendable speed and drained this "reservoir" soon after the worst of floods was over. Even so the cemetery is ravaged, tombstones muddied and all the flowers gone. The Terezin Memorial so far has not assessed the damage sustained at National cemetery.

3. Crematorium and the Jewish cemetery
Crematorium and the Jewish cemetery are situated at the bank of Ohre river, so far remain under water and are not available. Employees of the Memorial fear that the damage on crematorium and its original equipment will be extensive.

4. Columbarium and the central morgue
Columbarium and the central morgue of the Terezin ghetto, which were reconstructed and opened on 16th October 2001 to commemorate 60 years from the beginning of transports, were severely damaged. Columbarium, where the
ashes of deceased and cremated prisoners were being deposited throughout the existence of the ghetto, is clogged with mud.

All the new exhibits there were destroyed and part of the symbolic tombstones was damaged. The central morgue is still under water and it is evident that the newly opened exhibition there has been completely destroyed. The burial cart and other objects in ceremonial rooms near the entrance to the morgue will have to be cleaned and restored.

5. Ghetto museum
In November 2001 new and long awaited exhibition on the history of Terezin ghetto was opened. That exposition ranks among the key sights for any visitor of Terezin, on the par with the Lesser Fortress.

Educational and study departments in the Ghetto museum were completely destroyed. Also a very expensive electronic model of Terezin ghetto was flooded and it's not clear, whether it will be possible to renovate it. Luckily the exhibitions in the Museum were spared, only in the part devoted to Terezin children wooden floor is damaged.

6. Educational meeting centre
Educational meeting centre was opened several years ago in Magdeburg barracks and constitutes the core of educational activities of Terezin Memorial. It connects educational and housing facilities with exhibit rooms. Without a functional Educational meeting centre educational activities of the Memorial are de facto paralysed.

Main building of the centre has been affected very severely. Offices of educational and documentional departments have been destroyed, just as well as office of German and Austrian volunteers, with all the documents and materials gathered for years. Kitchen and dining room have been severely damaged and only part of the equipment could have been saved from kitchen. Depository in the Magdeburg barracks has also been badly damaged; fortunately it did not contain valuable documents.

In May 2002 the Memorial opened reconstructed and newly furnished second building of the Meeting centre at Prazská street. Flood destroyed lecture and social room in the basement and the whole ground floor with all the

Preliminary assessment of damage from employees of the Terezin Memorial amounts to 60 million crowns (about 2 million Euro). It is not conceivable that the Terezin memorial could get this amount from the ministry of culture or find it in its own funds.

The Memorial has so far been closed, but it will strive to make available at least some of its buildings and  xhibitions. Under favourable conditions first of them could be opened in September.

Terezin Memorial ranks among foremost institutions in the Czech republic, whose task is to preserve the memory of Nazi crimes and especially of holocaust. Annually, thousands tourists and students from the Czech republic and foreign countries visit its premises.Without our help the Terezin Memorial will not be able to fulfil this important social function.

The Terezin Memorial opened a special flood account, to which you can contribute towards reconstruction of Terezin sights, expositions, educational and other facilities. Financial contributions shall be used only towards fighting effects of the flood and its use shall be under public supervision


Website of  Museums and Galleries Association of the Czech Republic
http://www.cz-museums.cz/ (in czech language)

Website of  Czech Committee of ICOM
http://czechrepublic.icom.museum (in czech language)
short Information: http://icom.museum/ICOM/natcom/czech-rep.html (english)

Habsburg (Diskussion-network in H-Net, 

http://portal.unesco.org/ (english)

Information on Archives
http://www.collegium-carolinum.de/ (in German)
http://www.uni-marburg.de/archivschule/flutschaedenprag.html (in German)

Jewish Prague


Index  -  Home German Site

 The Web
An efficient tool after the flood catastrophe
Our special website on floods became - unexpectedly for us - a key factor in communcating after the floods as well as in organizing help. The Saxon Museums Association started this service already on august 17th; since september 7th an English version is available. Every evening these pages were updated.

Like all other actions during these dramatic days, our web service was not planned and we had no pattern that could be copied. There was no time to cooperate with web professionals; an emergency site has to be produced immediately and with simple means. In trying to cope with an unexpected catastrophe we just had to react and to find out day by day what is needed most. According to the changing needs we quickly developed  this site and added many new elements. 

The potential and advantages of web communication changed as well during different periods of crisis.

1) How it began: breakdown of communication

Communication within Saxony had become extremely difficult. When floods came mail service had to be stopped, but very soon phones and computers run into difficulties, too. As power failed, telephone installations with extensions (and fax) and computing systems could no longer operate. Rising water sooner or later put single phones (and even complete area nets) out of service as well. 

Cellular phones were a very limited help, because some relay stations were flooded or without power. The cellular nets operated above capacity, therefore authorities instantly asked the public not to use cellular phones, because emergency and rescue services needed the remaining facilities. And when phoning you had to make it short, because people in flooded areas could not recharge their storage batterys - a fact that limited strongly the use of  mobile computers, too. 

2) Re-establishing communication

A "communication society" is quite helpless, when all sophisticated systems brake down. When we tried to get  first information on the state of museums in flooded areas, we had to call the very busy emergency lines of town or district administations. In order to get into contact with museum people, we had to find out, who is living in a non affected part of the town; moreover we looked for nearby living relatives, friends or colleagues, who could meet personally one of the museum staff. When all attempts had failed, we resorted to drastic measures: We sent a "scout" (with "credentials" of our association), who had to try to pass the police road barriers protecting the devastated towns from thieves and catastrophe tourists.

Under these conditions e-mails were helpful for several reasons: 
As most people were helping and working outdoors, e-mails were the best way to send them longer messages.
Only few museum colleagues could recieve fax messages at home, and museum offices were situated in flooded town centres. For many days therefore exchange of texts was possible only via e-mail attachments.

3) First support

Libraries and bookshops in flooded towns cannot be used. So if  museum professionals need information, web sites are the best available. Especially if you have to cope with a problem you never before had to deal with, you are glad to get very detailed advice. Some associations of  archives and libraries permanently offer on their sites special pages on "first aid" for books, paper documents and photos as well as checklists for emergency situations and rescue operations; other instituts quickly supplied the most needed information including addresses of specialists and firms. As time is a very important factor, when you try to rescue soaked books or files in a hot summer, this service was extremly helpful.

The main networks and mailing lists reacted quickly as well. H- Museum and historicum.net provided topical information and link lists.

Our site informed on partnerships beween museums. So every museum wanting to help could see which museum is still without a partner. (Fortunately it soon went the other way round: We had far more museums ready to help than museums in need.) We also compiled and published a catalogue of damages, so everybody could see, what kind of help is needed at the different museums.

4) Spreading information

Watching horror pictures on TV, museum professionals all over germany were very worried about their colleagues in Saxony. Therefore a listing of affected and not affected museums was one of the first sections in our site. In the beginning this list was dominated by question marks, but they disappeared day by day. 

Later on we decided to present the most damaged museums. Unfortunately the offical Website "Museums in Saxony" with its "Guide to Saxon Museums" as well as the website of Dresden State Art Collections were not available in the first weeks, because their Dresden based server (Ministry of Science and Art) was out of service. As substitute we collected basic information on the 20 most damaged museums. Because many people, museums and associations in Germany asked, how they could help with direct donations, we added donation accounts of all damaged museums. As we noticed, that tourism in Saxony is heavily declining, we collected and published the date of reopening of our museums.

Federal Republic and some national cultural foundations developed schemes for financial support. As this became a quite complicated and constantly changing matter, we supplied precise information on this vital issue for the affected museums.

When we had solved our main information problems in Saxony, we turned our view across the border and compiled infomation on museums in Sachsen-Anhalt, Brandenburg and the Czech Republic.

Index  -  Home

Special page (Ralf Blank and Stefanie Marra) in H-MUSEUM:

Special page (Klaus Graf) in historicum.net:

Index  -  Home More Links (in German)

English Index 2002
of the German Site
INFO-Pages Damaged 

New on the site

Bad Düben
Bad Schandau
DD: Hygiene-Museum
DD: Kraszewski-Mus.
DD: State Art Collect.
DD: City Museum
DD: Transport Mus.
Kloster Buch

How YOU may help
Donation to funds
Donation to museums
Helping direcly
Our neighbours

General report
Local stories
List of all  museums

Museums are helping
Regional partnership
List of  partners
Network (Info+Help)
Advice (Links)

Press release

State and foundations
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Contact / Impressum, Site Map, Home
Index  - Home  -  German Site

Contact / Impressum
Saxon Museums Association  (Sächsischer Museumsbund e.V.)
task force "flood" (manager: Dr. Thomas Schuler)

c/o Schloßbergmuseum Chemnitz
Mail: Schloßberg 12, D-09113 Chemnitz
Phone: +49 371 488-4500 / Fax: -4599; Mobile Phone: +49-163-SCHULER
English Website: http://www.schlossbergmuseum.de/smb/flood.html
German Website: http://www.schlossbergmuseum.de/smb/flut.html
E-Mail: th.schuler <at> t-online.de

Copyright Sächsischer Museumsbund 2002

Text, Design and Editing: Thomas Schuler

Issue of this document: 2002, September 7th -  Oktober 9th
Last revision: 2006 - 07 - 24

Webmaster: th.schuler <at> t-online.de 

Verantwortlich im Sinne des IuKDG (Informations- und Kommunikationsdienste-Gesetz):
Dr. Thomas Schuler, Schloßbergmuseum Chemnitz, D-09113 Chemnitz, Schloßberg 12, Tel 0371-4884500

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