Pedestal of the Statue of the Writer Svatopluk Čech

In 1924, a bronze monument with a stone pedestal dedicated to the Czech writer Svatopluk Čech was placed in the eponymous park (which bore his name from 1903) in Vinohrady. The sculptor of the statue was Jan Štursa, working together with the architect Pavel Janák. At the beginning of the 1940s (apparently in 1942), the statue was removed and taken to a metal storage site in Maniny. During the war, a water reservoir was also built in the park, later used in the construction of a garden pool with fountains.

Although many Czech sculptures, bells and other art objects disappeared in the years 1940–1943 during the so-called non-ferrous metal requisition for war purposes,http://pamatky.bcb.cz/Zvony/Rekvizice-ceskych-zvonu-za-2-svetove-valky (accessed 20 June 2017). “Most of them disappeared during the requisition of metal in 1942 when all the buildings – except for the cultural monuments – were stripped of their metal parts such as copper roofs, gutters, brass knobs, doors and small equipment and, with the exception of cemeteries and churches, all bronze monuments, busts, reliefs and memorial plaques together with most of the bells were destroyed.” Zdeněk Wirth – Josef Sudek, Pražský kalendář 1946. Kulturní ztráty Prahy 1939–1945, Nakladatelství V. Poláčka, Praha, 1945, unpaginated. exceptions did exist. One of them is the Prague memorial of Svatopluk Čech. As the art historian Zdeněk Wirth reported in 1945: “The most beautiful result was the dedication of some of the patriots who were ordered to carry out the transport of the requisitioned metal objects from the cemetery of bells and bronze sculptures at Maniny to foundries in northern Germany. In this way the colonels František and Vladimír Procházka and the storage administrator Josef Ptáčník saved 2 184 bells of B and C categories, including 287 from Prague and most of the bronze monumental statues and sculptures, busts, plates and plaques. […] It was a joyous surprise for the whole society when it became clear after the Prague revolution that precious sculptural works such as […] Štursa's Svatopluk Čech, […] was saved in a final bronze cast.” Zdeněk Wirth – Josef Sudek, Pražský kalendář 1946. Kulturní ztráty Prahy 1939–1945, Nakladatelství V. Poláčka, Praha, 1945, unpaginated.

After the war, Josef Sudek photographed the empty pedestal of the statue in Svatopluk Čech Park in the Vinohrady area of Prague, and the statuary in the metal storage facility at Maniny. Today the monument of Svatopluk Čech is located in its original location and is a cultural monument.http://pamatkovykatalog.cz/?element=14905628&action=element&presenter=ElementsResults (accessed 20 June 2017).