Memorial unveiled to mark one year since Ostrava hospital shooting

Seven people died and two were seriously injured in the shooting last December.

Tom Lane

Written by Tom Lane Published on 10.12.2020 14:49:00 (updated on 10.12.2020) Reading time: 2 minutes

On Dec. 10, 2019, seven people died and two were seriously injured in a shooting in front of the polyclinic at the University Hospital in Ostrava.

One year to the day of the tragedy which made headlines around the world, a memorial by the Ostrava-based sculptor Lukáš Dvorský, was unveiled by the mayor of the city, the director of the University Hospital and the governor of the Moravian-Silesian region, it was also blessed by Bishop Martin David.

All three organizations contributed to the funding of the memorial to create a place of reverence in tribute to those who were killed in the incident.

"We must not forget a tragedy that has no parallel in modern history. It is good that we have found agreement with the management of the city and the region and have built a dignified place of reverence together. The space in front of the building of our hospital polyclinic, within which this cruel event took place, has thus acquired a completely new dimension," said the director of the Ostrava University Hospital, MUDr. Jiří Havrlant, MHA.

The sculpture was chosen as part of a competition run by a studio called MAPPA which was organized by local government.

The memorial to the victims of the attack is a bronze sculpture weighing more than 600 kg and lined with Swedish granite cubes, it depicts a collapsed sun. 

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Author of the winning project Lukáš Dvorský said while he is satisfied with the design, he did find working on its creation was extremely emotionally demanding:

“I approached this work with deep respect for the bereaved, the victims and the whole event. I expressed everything in my own language, and that is the shape, which depicts the 'dead sun'".

The unveiling of the monument will not be the only way the anniversary of the tragedy is remembered with the town hall, Prokešovo náměstí and Miloš Sýkora Bridge all plunging into darkness today. 

Governor of the Moravian-Silesian Region, prof. Ing. Ivo Vondrak added:

"To this day, I remember the shock and helplessness that the news of unnecessarily lost lives caused me. I immediately went to the hospital, considering it my duty to be present in person at the ambulance. I hope that the memorial will remind us all not only of the tragic event, but also of the value of every human life."

Ostrava University Hospital has adopted several measures to improve security following the incident, including having places with a higher frequency of people monitored more often by an operational security patrol.

As part of the reconstruction of hospital buildings, existing doors will be replaced, with new ones continues equipped with electric locks and a special system that will make it possible to open and close entrances from one central place in crisis situations.

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