The creators of the new Retro Museum Prague could not find a better place than the Kotova department store, which was built in the early 1970s. The Brutalist building, designed by architects Věra and Vladimír Machonin, has since been designated as a national cultural property.
Today, covering an area of over 2,000 square meters, the entire fourth floor has been transformed into a museum, literally dating visitors back to the communist Czechoslovakia over the last two decades.
The museum guides visitors to typical communist-style apartments, how the vast majority of people live and surround them, from glassware and porcelain sets to sanitary goods, toys and appliances. Introducing the used items.
There is also a typical school classroom with a portrait of then-President Gustáv Husark and a full-fledged packaged sporting goods store. The exhibition’s curator, Emma Sommerová, collects about 12,000 items and describes how the entire collection was put together.
“Most of the items in the Retro Museum are donations. A few years ago, I held a retro exhibition at the Dancing House in Prague and started collecting it with the idea of launching the museum in a great success.
“Most of them have accumulated over the last four years, and it’s also important to note that what you see here is about half of the total collected.”
The Retro Museum certainly takes advantage of the nostalgia felt by the older Czechs who grew up in that era, but its director, Robert Vuzitek, also gains something from it for young people and foreign tourists. Say it should be.
The museum not only introduces the objects of daily life, but also how people in the so-called normalization era dressed, ate, and spent their free time.
It also contains a section dedicated to the role of dissent and communist propaganda. One of the items on display is a bugging device used by the secret police of the communist era.
“The wiretap looked like a lighter so that foreign guests wouldn’t notice anything. The lighter was functional and was connected to the basement of the Yalta Hotel, where the switchboard was, with a short cable at the time. Almost every room in the hotel was eavesdropped. “
Retro Museum Prague has also launched a public crowdfunding campaign where people can contribute to its completion. They can buy tickets or one of many rewards, including the original Kotva saleswoman apron worn in the 1970s and 80s.
https://english.radio.cz/new-prague-museum-transports-visitors-back-1970s-and-80s-czechoslovakia-8750999 The New Prague Museum brings visitors back to Czechoslovakia in the 1970s and 1980s