Prague Jewish Museum Braces for Raging Czech Floods

Priceless Judaica Moved From Basement as Water Rises

Prague Peril: As rising floodwaters bear down on the Czech capital, the city’s Jewish museum is taking action to protect its collection.
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Prague Peril: As rising floodwaters bear down on the Czech capital, the city’s Jewish museum is taking action to protect its collection.

By JTA

Published June 04, 2013.
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The Jewish Museum in Prague has reopened its doors after closing for a short time to prepare for raging floods roaring toward the Czech capital.

“We cleared out the basement of books and other artifacts which could be damaged in case of a flood,” Museum Director Leo Pavlat said.

The museum was closed Monday to prepare for floods which so far have killed 10 people in the Czech Republic, Austria, Germany and Switzerland, according to the French news agency AFP. Caused by heavy rainfall, the floods have deluged the Czech capital’s historic center and triggered memories of the 2002 floods that killed dozens in the region including 17 in the Czech Republic alone.

Fire brigades had evacuated 8,340 people in the Czech Republic, according to AFP.

None of the city’s Jewish buildings or heritage sites have been damaged in any serious way, according to Pavlat. “In our experience from 2002, the most vulnerable places were the underground floors of the museum so we took precautions, but we are very glad to have opened for business as usual today,” Pavlat said.

Pavlat said he was not aware of serious damage to Jewish heritage sites outside Prague.

Mirka Poskocilova of the Jewish community of Decin, a city in the northern Czech Republic situated on the banks of the flooded Elbe River, said the local synagogue is built on a hill and is not in danger of being flooded.


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