Prague’s shattered Jewish tombstones turned into memorial
DConsecrated Jewish headstones used in a pedestrian project in Prague have become a new memorial to honor Jewish cemeteries that were destroyed under communist rule in former Czechoslovakia.
The new monument, which bears the name “Return of the Stones”, was unveiled on Wednesday and consists of 14,000 pounds of broken headstones. The monument was a collaboration between the sculptor Jaroslav Rona and his wife Lucie, architect, according to Guardian.
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“The idea is for the memorial to act as a place of meditation and remembrance for people who know that the cemeteries where their loved ones rest were destroyed,” Rona said. “They can come here and hang out.”
The project, which cost the equivalent of $32,000, was funded by private donors and a public crowdfunding campaign, according to the outlet..
Prague’s Jewish community commissioned the memorial after the tombstones were discovered in the city’s Wenceslas Square. Excavation of the stones began in May 2020 and they were first used in a project to honor Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev when he visited the country in 1987.
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More headstones are expected to be discovered at the square in the future, and they will be used to expand the memorial, according to the outlet. No names were identifiable on the headstones.