Chrudim Puppetry Museum is preparing an exhibition in South Korea

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The Chrudim Puppetry Museum had big plans this time last year. It was preparing a big exhibition of Czech puppetry for the Museum of History in Seoul. It eventually had to cancel it in early spring. In March, there were more than 5,000 people with coronavirus in South Korea, which was a horrible epidemic at that time, said the museum director Simona Chalupová. She thinks the exhibition may travel to Seoul this year, although the installation will be somehow unusual.

“We will probably be a long-distance installation as the Korean curators will do it without us but under our supervision. We were hesitating whether we ought to cancel it, but it is necessary to do positive and joyful things these days, so we will try it,” said Chalupová.

The exhibits and exposition are planned to leave for South Korea in a diplomatic cargo plan at the end of March. The opening is planned for June 4. The original date was June 2 – August 23.

Chalupová is sorry that the museum prepared an unusual exhibition on the occasion of Spejbl’s 100th anniversary, which has been closed so far. She shows the places where the Theatre of Spejbl and Hurvínek has played. “We have made big game elements, such as the Great Wall of China, Petra, Niagara Falls, or a labyrinth in Paris. Children could have touched and assembled everything, and look for stamps for their passports,” Chalupová described the exhibition. If the epidemic situation is better, the exhibition will open; however, the experience will be limited by the compulsory hand disinfection. The exhibition was being prepared one year ago and nobody could imagine current restrictions.

Last June, the museum opened an altered permanent exhibition called the Magical World of Puppets, which was first installed in the Renaissance Mydlář House in 2012. The altered version now offers audiovisual presentations of exhibits, interactive features, and new items in the collections. Last year’s visitor’s rate dropped to 22,000 people, compared with the common average of 36,000.

“We truly miss the visitors. Although our job descriptions also include other activities (e.g., collections), we want to make the general public happy,” says Chalupová.

The museum is preparing a book on the 50th anniversary of the foundation that will fall upon next year. The involuntary closing down is also the opportunity to organize, label, and digitalize the collections. The employees working at the reception and the museum store have been involved in these activities, too. The museum did not want to fire them, although it is the first time it has had a budget in red numbers and will have to save much money.