The Náprstek Museum of Asian, African and American Cultures
In 2016, the Náprstek Museum continued preparations for the reconstruction of the museum building and the construction of a new central depository in Horní Počenice. In the autumn, the Feasibility study for the project of revitalization of the Náprstek Museum was finished, providing a realistic manual according to which we should proceed until the opening of a new permanent exhibition in 2025.
Regarding exhibitions, in February a new special exhibition, Afghanistan – Salvaged Treasures of Buddhism, was opened with the participation of eminent guests. The exhibition was prepared in long-term cooperation with the National Museum of Afghanistan and the Military History Institute in Prague. In the autumn, we opened two exhibitions – the planned Headhunters exhibition concerning the culture, art and lifestyle of the people of New Guinea, and the unique exhibition Lost World in Photographs by E. St. Vráz, which celebrated great success with visitors.
In the field of collection management, a general inspection of sub-collection 25 and other non-European ethnographic collections was completed. This year, the results of the review will be settled. The depositories continued to be equipped with new storage systems.
In 2016, the library received special attention – especially concerning strategies for the long-term popularization of library services and the management of books and non-book fonds.
A programme for schools was prepared: Window to the World: The World in a Showcase. Using collection items, the Department of Public Relations and Marketing is preparing small thematic exhibitions and programmes about the areas the collections come from, in accordance with Framework Education Programme.
The cycle of festivals Colourful Courtyard continued with new cultural festivals, and was expanded with fashion and theatre shows. For the first time in the history of Colourful Courtyard, we organized a cultural event focused on the promotion of activities associated with the library – Náprstek’s Weekend Bookshop.
In science and research all scientific objectives were fulfilled, and the main strategic directions for our science and research activities were set. They will be focused on two objectives in particular: field research building on the long-term research of previous years, and the processing and subsequent publishing of the History of Náprstek Museum.
Concurrently, we prepared and submitted detailed scenarios and designs for exhibitions, on which we will be working intensely in the years to come. The designs include two major exhibition areas: non-European cultures and the 19th century history of the museum, and the status and role of the museum and its progress.
In the field of foreign research, two excavation seasons at the Wad ben Naga location were conducted. Great success for the National Museum came in the form of its mandate to organize the 12th International Conference for Meroitic Studies, with the participation of 200 scientists from 25 countries worldwide. During the conference, the Sudanese Minister of Tourism, Antiquities and Wildlife visited the Czech Republic.