Tuesday, May 3, 2011: A Moving Museum
Nope. When the music festival opens on May 12 in the Czech Republic, it will also be celebrated in the American town of Cedar Rapids, Iowa.
A Prague Spring Evening of Czech music, food, and culture is a fundraising event for the National Czech and Slovak Museum and Library there. Czech jazz guitarist George Grosman will perform Czech and American jazz standards. Guests will dine on some traditional Czech foods, including potato pancakes, braised pork and dumplings, and of course a Czech favorite, mushrooms. A selection of Czech beers will also be available, Braise Company caterer’s chef/owner Shawn Price tells Opus Osm.
The museum’s Prague Spring Evening is not part of the international music festival, but has strong emotional and cultural ties to the event as an educational resource on Czech culture.
Museum on the Move — Verrrry Slowly
Incidentally, just at the moment the entire museum building (3 million pounds – 1,360,777 kilos) is sitting 6 feet (1.83 m) up in the air, ready to be moved 480 feet (146 m) away. It will zoom across the Iowa landscape at 1/4 mph (0.40 kph).
The move is necessary following the devastating flood of 2008, when eight feet (2.4 m) of water invaded the museum and library’s collections. The building will move to higher ground, 11 feet higher than its original spot, and 3 feet above the 2008 flood level, according to museum spokesperson Diana Baculis. The building will be set down within 1/8″ (0.30 cm) of center on its new foundation above a new parking garage.
You can watch a live webcam feed by visiting the National Czech and Slovak Museum and Library’s website. But if you’re watching from Europe, wait until after lunch. Due to time differences, morning viewings in Europe are dead-of-night showings from Iowa.
You can also see a rather charming computerized version of the planned moved by clicking below. It all simply proves that despite moves, migration, emigration, and immigration, Czech connections, musical and otherwise, remain unbroken throughout the world. – oo
– Mary Matz
Photo Credits: Photo and videos from the National Czech and Slovak Museum and Library website