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image of the historical building NM

Due to a reconstruction, the Historical building of the National Museum at the Wenceslas Square (Václavské náměstí) is closed from 7 July 2011.
The re-opening of the historical building is symbolically planned for October 2018.

You can find the most important questions and answers regarding this event on this webpage:

    Visit us also in our other buildings:
    You can visit other buildings of the National Museum! They offer many interesting exhibitions. Important informations you can find on:

  • Visit us – information about buildings of the National Museum (entrance fee, opening times etc.)
  • Current Exhibitions – list of the exhibitions we had prepared for you.

Why reconstruction?

image - bad condition of the building

The historical building of the National Museum is almost dilapidated.

There have not been any significant repairs made since the opening of the building. It was also damaged by two military attacks in 1945 and 1968. If we don’t start with a renovation of this extraordinary building as soon as possible, there would be a threat it would have to be closed due to security reasons. So the aim of the demanding reconstruction is to save such significant national cultural heritage and to transform it into a modern museum space.
Due to the extended space in the historical building and its connection with the new building of the National Museum, there will be almost doubled space for the exhibitions (11 300 m2). So the visitors will have the opportunity to admire many unique collection items hidden in depository today.

When and for how long will be the historical building of the National Museum closed?

Historical building of the National Museum is closed from 7 July 2011 in order to disassemble all of the expositions.

The re-opening of the historical building is symbolically planned for October 2018, when the National Museum will celebrate 200 years since its founding.

Generations of musicologists have been calling for the reconstruction of the Historical Building of the National Museum. However, it was only Jiří Paroubek's administration that decided to approve the necessary funds, on 7. 6. 2006. After that, preparatory work began promptly. It was necessary to move millions of collection items out of the building and to move the staff to other temporary premises. Above all, it was necessary to prepare the reconstruction itself carefully – to finish the necessary pre-reconstruction condition survey and the studies for the building.

In 2011, the project for obtaining the building permit was ready. Here however, the first delay occurred when the Ministry of Culture decided to cut the funds and obliged the National Museum to change the project. In 2013, the National Museum was ready to issue a request for tenders for general reconstruction. However, it had to wait for the tender specifications to be approved by the government. The evaluation committee was appointed only on 13 November, 2013. The committee started to work straight away, and already on 18 November, 2013, envelopes with candidates’ bids were opened.   

The committee finished their work in October 2014, when they selected the best offer. However, the National Museum had to face several administrative proceedings of the Office for the Protection of Competition, initiated by unsuccessful bidders. In the end, all the proceedings ended up in favour of the National Museum; and so, on 15 April, 2015, a contract was signed with the successful bidder, the association Sdružení M-P-I Národní muzeum, consisting of Metrostav, Průmstav and Imos Brno. On Monday 20 April, 2015, the building was officially handed over to the reconstruction contractor.

The works are planned to last 42 months. The work started with a pre-reconstruction condition survey (documenting the state of the building) and protection of the artistic features of the building. Construction and restoration works follow. According to the contract, the reconstruction should be finished in October 2018, on the 200th anniversary of the institution's foundation. The National Museum would like to make this building of great architectural, artistic and historical importance accessible to the public towards the end of 2018, even if all the planned exhibitions cannot be installed by then.

An architectural competition for the design of exhibition spaces, exhibition layouts and the management of visitor circulation was opened in July 2015, and concluded in June 2016.  In the first round 25 competitors took part in the competition, and six of them were invited to the second round. The results were announced on 24. 6. 2016.
The winner was the association Sdružení SGL projekt, s.r.o. – Boris Micka Associates S. L.
A proposal for the review of the contracting party’s procedure was filed against the National Museum’s choice of the competition winner at the Office for the Protection of Competition by the applicant who came second, Ing. arch. Petra Janda.
Subsequently, on 21 October 2016, the Office decided to reject the proposal for proceedings to review the actions by the contracting authority and the competition results, and confirmed the correctness of the course of action taken by the committee and the National Museum. Nevertheless, the proponent again appealed against this decision on 15 November, 2016 to the President of the Office.
The National Museum is now waiting for the results of the next administrative proceedings, while preparing an exhibition of the competition designs and a competition catalogue. For greater transparency and to inform the public better, the designs of all the competitors have been published in the form decided on by the committee.

The documentation for the Architectural competition for the design of exhibition spaces, exhibition layouts and the management of visitor circulation is also available in full at www.egordion.cz/nabidkaGORDION/profilNM, in the section Contract Archive, contract ID P15V00033495



What will the historical building of the National Museum look like after the reconstruction?

Apart from the museum expositions, there are also resting places, places to work with school excursion courses, storage space for prams, children’s corner, cafe and a gift shop planned in the project. The building will be barrier-free.

Have a tour through the reconstructed historical building of the National Museum:

The visitors will have the chance to go from the hall to the new spaces of the visitors´ facilities in the basement i.e. capacity changing rooms and restrooms. On the ground floor there will be a museum cafe, a museum shop and children playroom available for them in the left roof-covered yard.

Permanent exposition will be located in the roof-covered yard in the right part of the building with hanging big-size exhibits or precious sculptures and monuments from the museum collections. On the ground floor there will be also short-term exhibitions in five exhibition halls.

Pantheon on the first floor, same as before the reconstruction, will remind us the famous Czech men and women who worked in science, social life or the art. First part of a new permanent exposition will be located in the remaining exhibition halls.

Interactive centre for students and youth will be on the second floor, in the pillared hall. Finally, at the end of the tour, visitors will have the opportunity to ascend up to the dome providing the view of the historical centre of Prague and Prague Castle.

Author of the reconstruction project is: Sdružení Národní muzeum, composed of firms: VPÚ DECO Praha, a. s., a SUDOP Praha, a. s., chief architect of the project is Ing. arch. Zdeněk Žilka.

image - building after reconstruction


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