Creation of new exhibitions
New exhibitions in the Museum Complex
In 2020, significant construction activities began at five exhibition units - Nature, Miracles of Evolution, History, History of the 20th Century and the Children’s Museum. The implementation was accompanied by complications in the form of prolonged tenders, both for the implementers of individual exhibitions and for the framework suppliers of equipment for the exhibitions, especially lighting and AV equipment. At the same time, in 2020, preparations were made for collection items in the form of restoration and conservation, as well as the creation of necessary copies of collections that the National Museum does not have or cannot permanently exhibit. Furthermore, an essential element of the first half of the year was the restoration of the blue whale skeleton.
Graphics, accompanying texts and captions were prepared throughout 2020. In the case of the graphic team for the History of the 20th Century exhibition, there was a change in the supplier in mid-2020. Pixl-e studio of MgA. Filip Mond withdrew from cooperation and was replaced by the second graphic studio in the tender from 2018, Studio Marvil, s.r.o.
In March 2020, a tender was concluded for the contractor of the History of the 20th Century exhibition, announced in 2019 (due to non-participation in the contract announced in July 2020, it was announced for the second time) and in April 2020, the implementation was started by the association of companies Gardenline, s.r.o. and GEMA ART GROUP a.s. The construction of the exhibition itself was accompanied by complications such as complex coordination of many professions, construction preparation and in connection with a complex spatial composition and a unique concept of architectural design, but also due to the technical complexity of material logistics and the following construction issues. The construction was carried out throughout 2020 and will be completed in 2021.
On the basis of objections, the Office for the Protection of Competition initiated administrative proceedings for another public contract launched in 2019 for the realization of the Nature and Miracles of Evolution exhibitions, which were not successfully completed until September 2020. With the subsequent signing of the contract with the supplier umdasch Story Design a.s., the implementation of two more exhibition units began, the completion of which is planned for 2021.
In the spring of 2020, the public contracts announced for the realization of the History and Children’s Museum exhibitions were more successful and a cooperation began with the suppliers of AVT Group, a.s. (History) and Full Capacity s.r.o. (Children’s Museum) for the construction of the fourth and fifth parts of the prepared units. For both exhibitions, completion is planned for 2021.
The teams of all construction units were supplemented by technical supervisors from tenders to control compliance with technical quality. They quickly became involved in the entire process and helped maintain the required quality.
In 2020, the completion of the documentary part in the tender started in 2019 for the framework lighting supplier continued. After several successfully managed administrative proceedings initiated by the Office for the Protection of Competition, a supplier was selected that met the criteria for the required deliverables, including quality. However, referring to the technical side of the matter, the Office for the Protection of Competition initiated another administrative proceeding, which continued even at the beginning of 2021.
The tender for a framework supplier of AV equipment ended more successfully, although the first tender had to be cancelled due to the exclusion of all participants (errors in the tender and non-compliance with the contract criteria). In the autumn of 2020, the tender was announced again and the company AVT Group a.s. was selected.
As part of the preparation of the next steps, the department of the main manager of the exhibitions worked on the preparation of other public contracts - on the relocation of collections, on the processing of multimedia content and others.
As for the Treasury and Mint Cabinet exhibition unit, the authors and architects worked to complete the project documentation, as this exhibition space was vacated last after the reconstruction of the Historical Building of the National Museum. For this exhibition, as well as for the People section as a whole, a test showcase was produced, on which the type functionality was to be tested. In the case of the Treasury and Mint Cabinet with a recurring type of exhibit, the tested showcase also includes a lighting design. The information used from the testing will be further used in the completion of the project documentation.
One of the realizations successfully completed in 2020 is the restoration of the blue whale skeleton and the subsequent modification and lightening of its supporting structure. Restoration took place from December 2019 to the end of July 2020, and the structure modification was not completed until autumn 2020. Due to the physical condition of the original, it was necessary to ensure the casting of new jaws. After preservation, the original jaw bones were stored in the depository of the Natural History Museum.
Preparation of new exhibitions in the Náprstek Museum
The Náprstek Museum is preparing for the construction of a new central depository and the complete revitalization of the museum. In addition to the reconstruction of the building, the projects also include the creation of new long-term exhibitions. In 2020, the preparation of scenarios for the museum’s new exhibitions and the selection of collection items continued. These are divided into three parts - Vojta Náprstek and the society of the 19th century, travel and non-European cultures.
The family of the museum’s founder Vojta Náprstek in the context of the 19th century society will be presented in the historical premises of the so-called U Halánků house. There will also be a section dedicated to travel in the 19th and 20th centuries. The original museum building will present the non-European cultures featured in the museum’s collections and a separate space will be dedicated to the ancient Egyptian collection.