Celebrating our 5th anniversary by holding an international heritage conference in Prague

In June we celebrated the 5th anniversary of the launch of the Czech National Trust by holding an international conference under the title “Our Heritage – For ever, for everyone” at the spectacular Strahov Monastery in Prague.

The programme of the conference was divided into 2 moderated panel discussions in which 17 top Czech and foreign experts in the field of cultural heritage and architecture discussed the role of cultural heritage in the 21st century and new ways of financing and supporting it so that it is sustainable, relevant and delivers value. After each panel discussion the audience was encouraged to put questions to the panel.

The first panel discussion under the title “The bigger picture” was moderated by Robert Voticky, a Czech-British architect, urban designer and professor of architecture and included the following prominent speakers:

  • Tim Parker – Guest of honour, Chairman of the National Trust of England, Wales & Northern Ireland
  • Irena Edwards – Chairman of the Board of Directors, Czech National Trust and Trustee of INTO
  • Catherine Leonard – Secretary General of the International National Trusts Organisation (INTO)
  • Ben Cowell – General Director of Historic Houses (UK Association of private owners)
  • Nichola Tasker – Head of National Projects, English Heritage Trust
  • Professor Jiri Patocka – Head of Arts Management, School of Economics and owner of Prichovice chateau
  • Patrice Simonnet – Marketing director of FAI, Italian Fondo Ambiente Italiano

The second panel discussion entitled “Preservation of heritage in practice” was moderated by an independent curator and consultant in the field of architectural history, former director of Banister Fletcher Library Irena Zantovska-Murray, in which various independent heritage projects were presented by :

  • Martin Krcma and Eva Heyd – Czech National Trust with responsibility for projects
  • James Birch – President of Historic Houses and owner of Doddington Hall, UK
  • Count Frantisek Kinsky – owner of Kostelec nad Orlici chateau and the town mayor
  • Richard Balous and Tomas Novotny – initiator and his architect of La Fabrika
  • Vaclav Hlavacek – Executive Director and chief architect of Studioacht
  • Patrik Hoffman – Founder and owner of Studio Hoffman

The conference programme concluded with a drinks reception in the breathtaking surroundings of the Strahov Library accompanied by music performed by the ensemble Chaire followed by a buffet reception in the Summer Refectory of the Strahov Monastery.

The conference was held under the auspices of Petr Burgr, Councilor for Culture of Prague 1, and Prof. Ing. arch. Ladislav Lábus, Dean of the Faculty of Architecture, Czech Technical University.

The next day, the international guest speakers were invited for a guided tour of several prominent heritage places and afterwards they were shown round the wonderful collection of paintings at the Lobkowicz palace in Prague Castle by Prince William Lobkowicz himself. At the invitation of H.E. British ambassador, Nick Archer the international gueststogether with the major CNT patrons and members of the board enjoyed an excellent lunch at the Ambassador’s residence.

Czech National Trust would like to thank once again all our speakers, moderators and guests for taking part and all our partners for their support. We can’t wait to see what the next five years will bring!

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