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Flemish reliquary on display at the Prague Castle

Flemish reliquary on display at the Prague Castle
Flemish reliquary on display at the Prague Castle

According to the edition Prague Daily Monitor, rare Romanesque reliquary of St. Moor, which was created in the first half of the 13th century by the order of a Benedictine monastery located in Flanders (now the Flemish region of Belgium), was exhibited yesterday, on November 24, 2010, for public in the exposure of the Prague Castle.

Reliquary is made according to the canons of Romanesque reliquaries of Cologne-mozansk jewelry school. The wooden base is richly decorated with relief items, made of gilded silver and copper and decorated with 200 precious stones.
It was taken to Prague from the Bečov castle, which is located in western Bohemia, in a specially equipped vehicle in compliance with the strictest security measures. Protection of the valuable item was ensured by the Special Forces unit of the Czech Police.

Unique object that has a huge cultural and historical value, was put on display in the hall of Vladislav in the Old Royal Palace, located in the famous Prague Castle. The opening ceremony was attended by acting President of the Czech Republic Vaclav Klaus and his wife. The visitors will be able to see a rare artifact until February 27, 2011.

The reliquary was made in Flanders in the first half of 13th century for Benedictine monks to store the relics of St. Moor, St. Timothy and St. John the Baptist. When during the French Revolution the monastery, where the unique artifact was kept, was destroyed, it fell into the hands of Alfred de Beaufort-Spontin, who ordered to take it to his mansion in Bečov. Before World War II artifact was the property of the Beaufort family, but they tarnished themselves by collaborating with the Nazis and were forced to leave Czechoslovakia after their defeat.

Before the escape the Beaufort family buried the reliquary of St. Moor under the floor of the chapel in the Bečov castle, where it stayed for nearly forty years. It was discovered only in 1985, though a long stay underground has caused serious harm to this unique cultural value. Restoration of the newly found relic lasted for more than 11 years (from 1993 to 2002) and cost 10 million kronas.

After this the artifact joined the exposure of the Bečov castle. It should be noted that it has already been exhibited in Prague in 2000, albeit in the form of separate parts, as restoration work has not yet been completed by then.

Anton Linden

Date: 26/11/2010

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