Prague's Faculty of Arts reopens one month after tragic shooting

Charles University's Faculty of Arts building has opened its doors to the public today for the first time since the tragic shooting on December 21, 2023. Staff

Written by Staff Published on 21.01.2024 12:31:00 (updated on 21.01.2024) Reading time: 2 minutes

Exactly one month following the tragic shooting at Charles University's Faculty of Arts, the main building at Prague's Jan Palach Square has partially reopened for the first time today for students, teachers, and other interested parties through 4:00 p.m. Journalists and photographers have been asked not to attend.

The tragic event occurred on December 21, 2023, when a student shot and killed 14 people and wounded dozens of others before turning the gun on himself. Multiple investigations into both the shooter himself and police response to the incident are still ongoing.

The Faculty's of Arts re-opening event today aims to help students and staff return to academic life, with mini-lectures, book exchanges, and musical performances. Scheduled repairs for the heavily damaged fourth floor, where almost 140 doors were destroyed, are estimated to cost millions.

Classes for the spring semester at the Faculty of Arts are set to begin on February 19, excluding the extensively damaged fourth floor. The Faculty plans to offer support and information on current measures related to studies, dean's office operations, and teaching methods. Psychological help services will be available for those in need.

To involve the community in the healing process, activities such as the creation of a temporary wax sculpture titled Common Landscape will take place at the square's central memorial to victims of the shooting.

Participants can contribute by processing wax from thousands of candles left at memorial sites near the faculty. Temporary mobile rooms will offer detailed information about academic matters in one and psychological support from experts in another.

The Faculty Month initiative, which started at the beginning of January, features various events and aims to facilitate coping with the tragic event. A memorial fire has been maintained in Jan Palach Square throughout the month, which will conclude on January 30 with a concert at the adjacent Rudolfinum building.

Today's reopening event signifies a step toward healing and resilience for the academic community in the wake of a deeply distressing incident. The Faculty is committed to supporting its students and staff members as they come to terms with the profound impact of the tragedy.

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