Aisles of history: Czech supermarket transformed into museum during culture closures

Historians are exhibiting treasures in the local hypermarket with museums currently closed due to coronavirus restrictions.

Tom Lane

Written by Tom Lane
Published on 26.03.2021 18:00 (updated on 26.03.2021)

Historians in the Ústí region are exhibiting treasures in a supermarket in the area, showing items that they have acquired during the coronavirus pandemic. 

They have chosen this inventive way to show items to the public due to the closure of the Museum of Ústí nad Labem under the current restrictions around the coronavirus. The director of the museum, Václav Houfek, informed ČTK about the exhibition.

Houfek said: "Necessary purchases of basic necessities are slowly remaining the last social experience, so we decided to take this opportunity special with a cultural experience."

The display is currently at the Globus hypermarket in Trmice in the vicinity of Ústí nad Labem. Four selected pieces are on display with their stories being published on the Internet. Some of the items were put on display in the museum for a brief time.

The public learned about one particular treasure last November and it was exhibited in early December. But due to restrictions, the museum was only open for 15 days.

Poklady z éry koronavirové Dlouhá chvíle vyvolaná útlumem společenského a pracovního života kvůli koronaviru poskytuje...

Posted by Muzeum mÄ›sta Ústí nad Labem on Tuesday, 23 March 2021

Historian Martin Krsek told the Museum website: "One of the first to get to the museum was a twice-found treasure from the Střekov district of Ústí nad Labem. It was a memorial box with messages from 1906. It was first discovered by bricklayers in 2008 in the local old school and the second time it was found on the finder while cleaning the garage."

The display currently on show contains mainly documents, photographs, and a number of small personal objects. The displays are called "The Memory of the Italian Front", "The Archive of the Legionnaire and the Sculptor, "The Suitcase of Dr. Raffelt" and "The School Treasure."

People can go and see the display if they are following the applicable hygiene measures, such as wearing respirators, and socially distancing.

Currently, there are restrictions in place meaning people from different regions are not allowed to travel to other regions in the country unless it is completely necessary. A state of emergency is in place until March 28 and is likely to be extended beyond that date.