The Monument of Karel Kopal in Znojmo: In the Whirlwind of History



Year of publication 2023
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Arts

Description Karel Kopal (1788-1848) was an officer of the Austrian army; he showed his military skills, especially in the Battle of Vicenza in 1848, which was also fatal. Nevertheless, after his death, he became a celebrated hero of the Austrian Empire. Kopal's friends in Znojmo decided to erect a monument to him, which gained a place in a prestigious location in the developing urban space. The monument was designed by prominent Viennese artists Dominik Fernkorn and Anton Sprenger and was erected as an obelisk in 1853. The monument functioned, as intended throughout the rest of the Habsburg monarchy, to celebrate a heroic soldier. However, after the establishment of Czechoslovakia, this work of art, as a product of the previous era, became the target of vandalism and official efforts to alter it and cover up its original meaning. The proposed paper addresses questions concerning the transformations in meaning of the monument during the new regimes after 1918, 1938, 1945 and even today.

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