What Is Museum SOS

Michal Stehlik
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Catastrophic Floods in the Czech Republic in 2002:
Rescue Activities and Experience

Michal Stehlik
National Museum Prague


In 2002 the Czech Republic was afflicted by catastrophic floods that affected many institutions keeping and administering objects of cultural heritage (museums, libraries, archives, monuments of the church, theatres, etc). The total damage caused to objects of cultural heritage amounted to 2.318.842.000,- CZK (EUR 77.301.900).

The subject of the contribution includes 1/ Survey of the damage (course of the flood, affected institutions, information policy of the state), 2/ Rescue activities (evacuation, communication with state authorities, safety, hygienic aspects), 3/ Procedures and activities of the crisis management (crisis center, information exchange, procedures and results), 4/ Repair of damage (documents in deep-freeze, financial assistance from abroad, financial assistance from the state, priorities), 5/ Experience ( crisis plans, risk analysis, new methods of rescue and communication) .

The fundamental role in the organization of rescue activities and repairs of damage caused by the flood was played by the Association of Museums and Galleries of the Czech Republic, Ministry of Culture of the Czech Republic and the National Museum. These three subjects have formed the crisis center that coordinated information and assistance. The subsequent phase of repair of damage was financially supported from the state budget and it was organized by the intergovernmental commission and later by the Ministry of Culture.


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