Culture & Society Czech Republic News

Czech Republic to set up “face-masks museum” in Prague

A woman wearing a colourful face-mask on the Charles Bridge in Prague

Prague, Czech Republic – If you’re particularly proud of the face-mask you made at home and your DIY skills, now is the time to shine: the Czech Republic is about to set-up a “face-masks museum” to serve as a symbol of our time and a legacy for future generations.

The initiative was launched by the Police Museum of the Czech Republic which, on its website, has asked people to send them their most creative, colourful, original, unique and helter-skelter home-made face-masks.

The objective is to gather a large collection to put it on display for future generations, presenting the face-masks not only as a practical protective equipment, but also as a symbol of our time and a testament to the values of solidarity and unity that brought the nation together, according to Police Museum spokeswoman Zuzana Pidrmanova.

In March, the Czech Republic was one of the first countries in Europe to make the wearing of face-masks mandatory in public to fight the spread of coronavirus.

Despite facing massive shortages of protective equipment, the population was undeterred, and quickly mobilized to answer the call. At home, at the office or in ad-hoc sewing workshops, Czechs sewed masks en masse and organized, via social media, their distribution to frontline social and healthcare workers, elderly people and to anyone at risk or in need.

You can read our behind-the-scenes report of this DIY sew-at-home movement in the Czech Republic.

Everyone can participate to the Czech Police Museum’s “face-mask gallery” and leave their mark for future generations. All you need to do is send your coolest and most-beloved face-mask to the museum’s address (Ke Karlovu 453/1, 120 00, Praha 2) and a short written message along with it.

Face-masks can be sent free of charge via the Czech Post if they’re put in a transparent envelope or package with the indication “Roušky” written on it.

While still mandatory in most closed public spaces, the Czech government recently relaxed regulations for wearing face-masks, which won’t be compulsory anymore in outdoor areas as of May 25.

Headed by Kafkadesk's chief-editor Jules Eisenchteter, our Prague office gathers over half a dozen reporters, editors and contributors, as well as our social media team. It covers everything Czech and Slovak-related, and oversees operations from our other Central European desks in Krakow and Budapest.