Comenius Museum in the Netherlands rescued from closure

02-12-2004

The museum devoted to the Czech philosopher, theologian and writer Jan Amos Comenius in the Dutch town of Naarden near Amsterdam has been rescued. Comenius is one of the greatest Czech thinkers in history, known worldwide for his theories of education, but also as a pioneer of Czech Protestantism during the 17th century. To escape the counter-Reformation he spent a great part of his life in exile in the Netherlands and is buried in Naarden. Last year the town decided to close down the museum, devoted to his life and work, for lack of money but the Czech Republic offered to take over the financial burden. The final agreement was signed this Wednesday, and the future of the museum is now secure. Martin Mikule asked the Czech Ambassador in the Netherlands Petr Kubernat how much money the museum will cost the Czech Republic.

"It's quite good amount of money, it's going up to 80.000 Euro a year. In fact it's covering all fees and charges which are connected with all the activities of Museum and Mausoleum of Jan Amos Comenius in Naarden."

Is anything going to change with this new system? Are there going to be any changes in the exposition, for example?

"Yes, there will also be some changes; yesterday there was a special mutual cooperation agreement signed in Naarden. One of its articles speaks about the necessity to update the exposition and to prepare a special display project which will give more attraction to the Museum and Mausoleum of Jan Amos Comenius in Naarden."

Jan Amos ComeniusJan Amos Comenius How well known is Comenius in the Netherlands? Do people know his name?

"I have to say that among the Dutch public Jan Amos Comenius is not so well known. If you ask people on the street, I'm sure you'll find somebody who knows his personality. But at the same time there will be more people who know nothing about Comenius."

Should there be perhaps more publicity to attract more visitors to the museum?

"It's also the question of publicity. We have also discussed yesterday how to do it, how to increase the awareness of the people of Jan Amos Comenius. Because it is of course quite important for the city of Naarden as well. If more people visit the museum, more people will learn also about the city of Naarden."

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