Help for Chapels and Crosses
For many of us, memories of the Czech or Moravian landscape call to mind a small chapel on a village green, a cross standing beneath linden trees or a wayside cross at a fork in the road. Many were destroyed during the communist era, primarily through aggressive collectivization when small groves, paths and borders of private fields were ploughed up, thus systematically eliminating everything that was reminiscent of our parents' faith. Other structures have been marked by the passage of time. Today, these small monuments are being renovated thanks to local residents' care as well as the help of citizens moved out from border regions or compatriots living abroad. The Prague-based VIA Foundation has also contributed to the preservation of many of these monuments. After the enormous floods of 2002 VIA founded the Cultural Heritage Fund, through which it collects finances, primarily from compatriots, to repair small monuments. Owing to their donations, more than 110 flood-damaged monuments were repaired immediately after the floods with funds totaling CZK 6 million. Between 2004 and 2006 another 47 chapels and crosses were repaired at a total cost of CZK 2.5 million (for more information visit the VIA Foundation's website:
In mid-May we were holding a gathering in the museum in Česka Lípa in Northern Bohemia for those who volunteer their time to preserve, repair and maintain chapels, crosses, wayside crosses and statues of saints. The VIA Foundation supported our gathering. We were also putting together a publication "Kaplicka na navsi, krizek v polich" about monuments that have been repaired in recent years and what small monuments mean to us today. We would like to ask you - compatriots living abroad - for your help and cooperation. What kind of help?
For detailed information about the Cultural Heritage Fund, repaired monuments or the opportunity to contribute contact Jiří Bárta, Executive Director of the VIA Foundation at email@example.com, phone: +(420) 233 113 370, Jelení 195/9, 118 00 Praha 1 or Carol Hochmann, Friends of VIA at firstname.lastname@example.org, phone: (412) 221-4057, P.O. Box 12592, Pittsburgh PA 15 241, USA.
Where there is courage and enthusiasm, it doesn't take much money to get a lot of work done. But we can't get by without small philanthropists. Foreign resources are also valuable because they raise awareness of that which we have in common. Our parents and grandparents often built a small structure in thanks for help or in reconciliation. There are hundreds of these reminders in the Czech landscape that are waiting to be saved. We will be grateful to you if you help us renovate them.
A small chapel in Dubnice in the Liberec region before and after reconstruction.
Renovation costs: USD 3,347.
A small chapel in Hněvnice in Western Bohemia before and after reconstruction.
Renovation costs: USD 3,043.Jarmila Štogrová
Lenka Bergmannová, The VIA Foundation
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