Prague to dismantle shoddy Astronomical Clock calendar and replace with new design

A reconstruction that had been completed in 2018 featured inaccurate depictions of the original work.

Expats.cz Staff ČTK

Written by Expats.cz StaffČTK Published on 16.05.2023 07:30:00 (updated on 16.05.2023) Reading time: 1 minute

The City of Prague has announced that it will replace the calendar wheel found in the capital's historical Astronomical Clock, following a poor reconstruction that was completed in 2018.

Discrepancies went unnoticed for years

It took four years for somebody to realize that artist Stanislav Jirčík’s replica did not accurately reflect the original work of Josef Mánes on the lower part of the 15th-century clock.

Instead, the faces of some people on the calendar appeared to reflect present-day people – with some going so far as to say Jirčík had been playing a joke and wanted his art to resemble some of his friends.

A sharp-eyed conservationist spotted the inaccuracies and lodged a complaint with the Ministry of Culture. The ministry confirmed that Jirčík changed the hairstyles, outfits, ages, and faces of many people found on the calendar wheel.

The third version in less than a decade

Now, one year after the discrepancies’ discovery, Prague councilors have decided that the calendar will undergo another change. Construction company Subterra, which was in charge of the 2018 reconstruction, will dismantle the existing calendar and set up a new version at its own expense. 

The artist has defended himself by saying he had been tasked to recreate a non-identical version of the calendar. The Prague municipality’s previous administration wanted to replace the new work, but Subterra refused to do so. Both sides have now reached an agreement. 

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The Czech Academy of Fine Arts will be in charge of designing and painting the new calendar. The total cost of a new replacement will be about CZK 1 million. No date of the work has been confirmed, but Praguers and tourists will in the near future notice that the famous timepiece will again be under construction.

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