Jewish Museum in Prague celebrates its 100th anniversary

About 100 theaters, concert halls, galleries and other institutions will participate in the project. (photo credit: )
(photo credit: )
The Jewish Museum in Prague is celebrating its 100th anniversary with a yearlong program of concerts and exhibitions, officials said Wednesday. About 100 theaters, concert halls, galleries and other institutions across the Czech Republic will participate in the project, which will present important works of Jewish art to the public throughout the year, museum director Leo Pavlat said. "It will show that the Jewish culture in our country had not only a very rich past but also has a lively present," Pavlat said. The National Theater in Brno will put on a performance of Hans Krasa's opera "Brundibar" in November, said the theater's director, Zdenek Prosek. The opera for children had 55 performances in the Jewish ghetto in Theresienstadt outside Prague where Krasa spent two years before being transported in 1944 to Auschwitz where he died. In Theresienstadt itself, Giusepe Verdi's "Requiem," performed by American conductor Murry Sidlin and the Chorus and Orchestra of The Catholic University of America, is planned for May. The music will be accompanied by the recorded memories of some of those who survived the ghetto and remember how the "Requiem" was performed there during the war years. The Prague's Jewish Museum was founded in 1906, but was closed to the public after the 1939 Nazi occupation of Czech territory. In 1942, the Nazis formed a central museum here where works of art from all closed Czech synagogues and Jewish communities were deposited. The museum was reopened after the World War II, but was nationalized by the former Communist government in 1950. In 1994, it was returned to the Jewish community. With some 600,000 visitors annually, the Jewish Museum is the most visited museum in the country. The Czech Republic currently has only a tiny Jewish community of several thousand. Nearly 120,000 Jews lived on Czech territory before the war; 80,000 perished in the Holocaust.