Charles Univesrity students, staff remove memorial candles from shooting site

University officials say a working group has been established to decide on the fate of the candles and other commemorative items.


Written by ČTK Published on 15.01.2024 12:58:00 (updated on 15.01.2024) Reading time: 1 minute

Today, students and staff of the Faculty of Arts at Charles University in Prague gathered to collect and store candles, flowers, messages, and other items commemorating the victims of the December mass shooting. The items were collected from the steps of the faculty and in front of the building.

Over the past few weeks, thousands of candles, photographs, messages, and stuffed toys have been brought to the memorial site of the tragedy. The incident occurred on Dec. 21 when a student shot and killed 14 people at the faculty, injuring 25 others, some of them seriously.

Martin Pehal, one of the organizers of the cleanup, stated that the collected items would be stored and processed further. "We will provide more details once there is a consensus within the academic community," he added.

Earlier, Faculty of Arts Vice Dean Michaela Slussareff informed ČTK that a working group had been established to decide on the fate of the candles and other items.

Pehal emphasized that while candles and other items serve as an initial response to grief or anger, they need to be put away during the mourning and healing process. This is essential for the place to resume its normal functions.

Another factor influencing this decision is the upcoming commemoration on Tuesday of the self-immolation of student Jan Palach in January 1969. Palach took this extreme step in protest against the rise of communist hardliners following the Soviet-led invasion of Czechoslovakia, as mentioned by Pehal.

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