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Klapalová, Martina

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Lidové noviny - Czech Republic | 18/04/2008

A monument dispute in Prague

A new dispute over monuments is brewing in Prague: preservationists want to have the old statue of the Bohemian aristocrat and most successful Austro-Hungarian military leader Count Joseph Radetzky set up on its former site on the Malostranka square. Martina Klapalová writes: "The Association of Czech Freedom Fighters sees the scheme as an effort to rehabilitate the house of Hapsburg, and the Czechoslovakian Union of Legionnaires is even more critical. Its deputy head argues: 'Radetzky is not one of us; he was an Austrian through and through.' The National Museum, for its part, rejects this view: ''Radetzky was as Czech as a Czech can be.' And historian František Dvořák contends: 'The speeches about our servitude [under the Hapsburgs] are empty communist rhetoric. The Austrians opened up our path to the world and also left us our own culture - Bohemian Baroque."

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