The National Museum has authenticly prepared the premises that used to house the mummified body of Gottwald. “Our priority was to create the right first impression rather than introduce historical events. All Czech people are familiar with them after all,” pointed out Marek Junek, who is the manager of the Contemporary History section. The exhibition commemorates the 50s propaganda and focuses on circumstances of Gottwald’s temporary “residence” in the Pantheon.
Where is the film?
The National Museum exhibits a book with the records that inform how the dictator’s body was maintained. According to the book, Gottwald was originally displayed in the General’s uniform, later on he was dressed in civilian clothes. It is rather curios that the organisers didn’t manage to trace the film from the 50s and so the only clips are from 1962, when Gottwald was cremated.
Sad parts of history
“The permanent exhibition counts amongst other projects that aim to introduce this sad period of our history. In the near future we want to commemorate the time of the Protectorate. The Laboratory of Power clearly shows how easy is to lose our freedom,” said Lukeš. It’s symbolic that the exhibition is open in the same year we commemorate the 64th year anniversary since the Communist coup in 1948.