HISTORY AND NATURE OF LIDICE COLLECTION
The Lidice Collection, displayed at the Lidice Gallery, constitutes an important part of the Lidice Memorial. Owing to the circumstances of its origin as well as the tortuous way the idea of a gallery was materialized, the Lidice Collection has a special and extraordinary position among the galleries and collections of the Czech Republic. This unique collection of global modern art came to being completely spontaneously, at the suggestion of a prominent representative of the “Lidice Shall Live” movement, the English doctor Sir Barnett Stross. The historical value of the collection, its origin and its impact are unparalleled in the world.
In 1966 Barnett Stross made an appeal to the artists all over the world to mark the 25th anniversary of the Lidice tragedy with donations of art pieces in protest against bestial atrocities and violence. His idea met with a strong response – in 1967-69 almost 350 artefacts by 264 artists from 28 countries were received.
All donated items are, and always have been, individual expressions of free will of the artists, bound by neither theme nor kind nor material nor technique. Hence, the collection is made of artefacts of various themes, forms and orientations. Besides the works responding naturally to what happened in Lidice, we can find artefacts in the collection that reflect similar violent acts against humanity, which have been perpetrated up to the present days. However, the collection does not just testify to the protest of the artistic public against war and violence, rather, it opens a view on a whole range of artistic trends, particularly of the 2nd half of the 20th century.
At present, the ground floor of the Lidice Gallery shows a selection of art pieces from all over the world in the permanent exhibition arranged by Hana Prixová Dvorská and Luba Hédlová in co-operation with the architect Irena Brotánková. The other works of art are safely deposited in the newly established depository.
When the Lidice Gallery was established in 2003 and the collection opened to the public in a permanent exhibition as had been the original intention, the collection was not only brought to the notice of the general local public, but also of the foreign visitors to Lidice. Thus, the underlying idea of its origin has come to fruition; moreover, a more general appeal has been made, referring to the ethical imperative binding also on future generations to keep the memory of the victims of Lidice as well as all other victims, so that atrocities on our planet would pass away for good.