Was the reconstruction of Prague’s famous astronomical clock botched?

The Ministry of Culture is looking into a complaint regarding the 2018 reconstruction of Prague’s famous astronomical clock. Specifically the complaint targets the copy of the original calendar on the Old Town Clock by Josef Mánes. According to Milan Patka from the Club for Old Prague, some of the figures on the calendar have changed dramatically.

The unveiling of the reconstructed Old Town Clock in 2018, was accompanied by much pomp and ceremony, but it has only now come to light that the copy of Josef Mánes’ calendar, admired by millions of tourists all year round, is a far cry from the original, which is housed in the Prague City Museum.

At first glance, the bright and shiny new calendar on the lower dial of the Prague astronomical clock is a successful copy of the original, but a closer inspection reveals that the author of the copy -artist Stanislav Jirčík – took a lot of creative license in reproducing Mánes’ work.

According to Milan Patka, from the Club for Old Prague, which filed a complaint about it, the changes are considerable and there was no good reason for them.

For example, instead of the virginal figure in the sign of Libra that is on the original, the new calendar depicts an older woman with grey hair. Similarly, a youth in a cloak has been replaced by a middle-aged woman with a different hairstyle. Other portraits have also been transformed and have different hair, beards or expressions.

See more here.

Author: Daniela Lazarová