KAREL NEPRAŠ: Family Ready for Departure
Due to the clear political subtext of its name and its reference to emigration from a country occupied by Warsaw Pact troops, and despite petitions to preserve the results of the symposium, the sculpture fell victim to Normalization hysteria and was destroyed. For Karel Nepraš, political developments in Czechoslovakia following 1968 meant dramatic restrictions in terms of exhibition opportunities, participation in the international art world, and the ability to develop his work.
Karel Nepraš had fervently hoped that the sculpture could be re-created, and after years of effort, his family succeeded. It was reconstructed during the years 2011 to 2015. It is a second casting made according to the original drawings and 1:1 wooden models. The reconstruction of the sculptural group is now placed at the so called sculpture terrace under the Gulliver Airship.
In the beginning, re-creation of the Family seemed to me so demanding and costly that I was unable to imagine it occurring otherwise than in cooperation with some large company. I contacted Třinecké železárny [Třinec Steelworks], where the sculpture had originally been made. But then I began its creation with several smaller companies. This solution (without a sponsor and without the certainty of a large company’s experience) was probably a more difficult one, but I didn’t have to make any compromises.”