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Philip Morris

Phillip Morris

Through the Philip Morris CR Charitable Fund, Philip Morris supports social programs and local community-development projects in the regions of Kutná Hora, Hodonín, and the Prague metropolitan area. In 2005, we launched the new grant program 3 x 333 Thousand for an Active Community Life together with Philip Morris. We also announced the pilot phase of another new program called the Academy of Social Entrepreneurship, which is focused on support for the social entrepreneurship of non-profit organizations.

Philip Morris CR Charitable Fund: 3 x 333 Thousand for an Active Community Life
Renovation of the Chapel of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Pekařov, carried out by the Restoration of Cultural Heritage in the Desná Valley association, Velké Losiny.

Phillip Morris

Cultural Heritage Does Not Stand Still

The former Sudetenland is an area with a turbulent history of expulsion, resettlement, and uprooted families. Traditions, customs, bonds to the land and the special character of places were replaced by insensitivity, systematical plundering, and apathy. Memory was erased and the formerly self-supporting and vital border area was for a long time forgotten.

The fate of Pekařov – formerly Beckengrund – in the Desná Valley in the foothills of the Jesenik Mountains is identical to the fate of a hundred other small villages in the border regions. The majority of the homes, including that of Franz Kolb, a well-known organ-maker, were bulldozed to the ground after the expulsion of the Germans in the aftermath of the Second World War. Life in Pekařov more or less stopped. The Chapel of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, which dates from the first half of the nineteenth century, was left abandoned. Time and neglect left their mark and led to irreversible deterioration.

In 2003, the Desná Valley Association initiated the establishment of the Restoration of Cultural Heritage program to address the needs of the small Pekařov church. The restoration of life to the deteriorated monument also goes hand in hand with the other aims of the association: connecting the area with a bicycle path, establishing ties with former inhabitants who now live abroad, developing a sense of belonging in the community by renewing cultural life surrounding the church.

In 2005, with support from the “3 x 333 Thousand Fund,” inhabitants of the Desná Valley and even Scouts from Prague, the reconstruction of the chapel was resumed. The aim is to make it a meeting place for people attending mass, for concerts and theatre performances. They are also planning an exhibition about the history of Pekařov and about the Kolb family.

Cultural heritage is not something that stands still, something conserved that we take out from time to time and look at. It is a part of our life and the way we see things. If we become a part of it, it will continually be recreated anew.

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Last updated: 11/06/2006
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