Jan Palach statue finally placed in the Czech Republic

It is forty years since the month Jan Palach burned himself and the sad anniversary is being remembered by a new memorial in Melnik, Jungmannovy Sady park. Three and a half metre tall, highly abstract statue represents the burning body. The author is Andrés Beck. The festive disclosure took place with presence of the president Vaclav Klaus, who emphasized in his speech the Czech nation should never forget Palach’s act of heroism.

The 20yo student of philosophical faculty UK who went to grammar school in Melnik, immolated himself on 16th January 1969 as a protest against Soviet forces invading Czechoslovakia. He died three day later in a hospital.

The fate of the statue was not clear – it was supposed to be brought a a gift by Nicolas Sarkozy to Prague, however its representatives haven’t found a place for it. The leader of Czech diplomacy Karel Schwarzenberg suggested it would stay in France, the name Dijon came in debate. Than the mayor of Melnik Miroslav Neuman stated they planned a monument for Palach close to the grammar school where Palach studied, and that they would accept the memorial gladly.

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