Museum of communism

Submmited by Maria Nehme on Wednesday, 15 August 2012

The museum focuses on the totalitarian regime from the February coup in 1948 to its rapid collap- se in November 1989. The theme of the Museum is "Communism- the Dream, the Reality, and the Nightmare" Multimedia presentations, a historical schoolroom, an Interrogation Room, or the video clips in our Television Time Machine are all part of the experience.

This is the first museum in Prague (since the Vel- vet Revolution) exclusively devoted to a system established in the sphere of the former Soviet Union. The original items and meticulous installa- tions containing authentic artefacts are displayed in the three main rooms

The Museum presents a vivid account of Commu- nism, focusing generally on Czechoslovakia and particularly on Prague in a variety of areas, such as daily life, politics, history and also economics and arts.

Highlights from the displays include rare items from the Museum’s own comprehensive archive as well as material obtained by the organisers from major collections, both public and private.

Lessons learnt:

The Prague museum of communism is more modest and in various aspects different from for example the Budapest museum “House of terror” but these places also have something in common. The museum doesn ́t seem to represent or to try to represent objectively the communism era in the former Czechoslovakia. It appears the main objective of the facility is to offer a “turistic attraction“ for foreign visitors and clearly tourists from abroad are the intended target group. The information, presentations and artefacts resem- ble more news headlines than a correct overview of the communist regime.

We also asked for some statistics and we were informed that foreign tourists make up more than 65% of the total of visitors.

On the other hand, our project participants were able to recognize also some positive sides of the Museum. The simple fact that such a institution exists, even if it ́s characteristics are far from ge- nuine, shows a certain ambition for some histori- cal reflection. Also, the museum is trying to reach beyond the local situation and provides relatively well presented background information about the international context, the dependance on the Soviet Union etc. 

 

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