Revue Pamiatky a múzeá - Summary 3/2008
Archaeological research in the centre of Kremnica
Under the supervision of the author of this article, the Archaeology Department of the Faculty of Philosophy at Comenius University in Bratislava, conducted advanced and secure archaeological explorations in the centre of the medieval mining town of Kremnica (central Slovakia) between autumn 2005 and the beginning of 2008. The research of the Upper Gate, which was part of the paving reconstruction on Kutnohorská Street, helped to establish the exact location of an original ground plan of one of the main gates of the town’s fortification, in addition to its almost complete reconstruction. The three-dimensional findings, primarily with regards to the ceramics, which were found deep underground, near the walls, date the gate to the end of the 14th, or the beginning of the 15th century. A road with a solid surface, reinforced with small quarried stone, used to lead you to the gate. The arch of the fortified wall, almost 2 metres wide, continued its curve in the western part of the town’s castle fortification. The archaeologists also confirmed its continuation when researching the coin workshop. The arch of the barbican wall, almost 1.5 m wide, could be observed from its eastern side, which was explored in 1980, to the eastern lining of the entrance. A more detailed view of the shape of the gate and barbican from the western side was made impossible because of the extension of the area of the coin workshop before 1881, not to mention other construction adjustments in the middle of the 20th century. Notwithstanding this, the archaeological research proved that the shape of the gate with barbican, which was destroyed in 1872, did not correspond with the Lower Gate, as some explorers predicted. Besides the fortified system, an extinct canalisation system was uncovered on Kutnohorská Street, which continued up to the area of the coin workshop and down below the Lower Gate. The canals with walls and vaults set in stone are testimony of the town’s late-medieval canalisation system. The archaeological research performed at Štefánik Square, right in the centre of the town’s monument reservation, was necessary to precisely localise the extinct Church of the Virgin Mary in the southern half of the square. The oldest references to Kremnica square (specified as circular) date from 1366 and 1393. The first burgher houses found on its periphery, however, had already been noted down by 1331. We can say with certainty that in 1474, when warehouses and stores stood there, the square featured today’s regular ground plan. The dominant building was the parish church consecrated to the Virgin Mary, which is mentioned in 1393. A baroque cathedral built in 1733 and 1760 replaced this gothic building. The mining activity underneath the square damaged the church’s statics to such extent that it had to be pulled down in 1880. The archaeological research revealed a single-nave gothic building that had a tripod finish of the presbytery with radial supportive columns, to which a sacristy was adjoined from the north. The 1.5-metre wide walls of the presbytery and the nave were so massive that they could also carry a younger baroque construction. An uncovered wall of the sacristy in the northern part of the presbytery surprisingly exhibited an exceptional width of 1.9 metres, which suggests the existence of a tower.
Habsburg efforts at monetary integration
The pursuit of a monetary union in Europe had been preceded by the Habsburgs’ efforts at monetary integration in Central Europe at the end of the 15th and the beginning of the 16th century (the Holy Roman Empire of the German nation, segmented into many small states with their own coin systems, had made integration efforts already in the 14th century). A strong incentive to monetary unification was the beginning of the coinage of heavy silver coins – guilders or the Dutch guldens – in the Tyrol, Switzerland, Kremnica and Jáchymov. The value of these coins, equal or close to the Rhenish gulden, was aimed at solving the need for parity with regards to large payments and the lack of gold for the embossment of golden coins. These types of coins were supposed to lay the foundations of unification. The coin committee, appointed at the Nuremberg meeting in April 1522, proposed the unification conception and submitted it to the second Nuremberg meeting in November 1522. The meeting summoned at Esslingen in the autumn of 1524 was supposed to settle the matter. Austrian archduke Ferdinand, brother of the emperor Charles V and a great unification supporter, played a significant role during these negotiations. In order to influence the result, he reformed the coin system in Austria yet before the meeting took place; he continued with the local coin reform of the 1470s and 1480s. He established two types of golden coins and created a system of seven silver coins with a unified purity of 0.895. After all, the meeting in Esslingen had come up with a new proposal for the unified coin system. However, neither the German states nor Archduke Ferdinand accepted it. The interest in monetary unification did not cease. Two separate proposals of coin systems were proposed during the meetings in Augsburg, in 1551 and 1559; however, neither of them received greater support. Ferdinand I established the first system in Austria in 1556 – 1560. The second system was changed in 1566, only two years after the death of Ferdinand I. The breakdown of both Augsburg systems had disrupted the attempts at monetary unification in Austrian and German countries for almost two centuries. Leopold I managed to unify the currency in 1659; individual parts of the Habsburg monarchy though still kept the traditional small coins. After Maria Theresa came to the throne, the functioning of the system was broken by the battles she had to lead to acknowledge the legitimacy of her succession. The economic problems of the monarchy meant less quality foreign currencies. This concern was resolved in 1750 by a declaration on the lowering of the amount of silver. Bavaria joined this coin foundation in 1753, followed by other German states. Monetary unification of the whole monarchy and a greater part of Germany was thus spontaneously achieved without larger preparations. However, the system was not consistent. Conventional currency only remained an internal, de facto paper currency of the Habsburg monarchy.
Old mining maps and plans oft he HKG listed in the Memory of the World
The State Central Mining Archives in Banská Štiavnica (ŠÚBA) gather archive documents from institutions and organisations working in mining, metallurgy, geology and related fields across the length and breadth of Slovakia. They are the only specialised mining archives in the succession states of the former Austro-Hungarian monarchy, which point to the significance of Slovakia’s mining history. Positioning the archives in Banská Štiavnica reflects the special place this town has among Slovak mining towns. The fund of the Main Chamber-Count Office (HKG) in Banská Štiavnica is the most significant archive fund at ŠÚBA. The main chamber count defended interests of the monarch in the central Slovak mining region since the end of the 15th century. The Main Chamber-Count Office in Banská Štiavnica took over this role in the middle of the 18th century. Its competencies later enlarged and it became the most significant authority administrating the mining, metallurgy and currency systems in the Hungarian part of the Habsburg Empire.
The documentary value of the HKG fund is exceptional. A set of mining maps and plans even increases its value. Around 1,800 mining surveyors and leading personalities from the professional educational system, science and work experience worked on almost 15,000 documents from the 17th to the 20th centuries. They have captured the development of mining works, mining technique, mapping, construction and technical monuments, change in landscape and other elements, items and people not only in Slovakia but also in other states of Central Europe. The reward for this file, its volume and inclusiveness, the richness of the contents, high level of substantiation and multiplicity, and quality of the authors’ list was its inclusion in the UNESCO List, The Memory of the World, in 2007. The mining maps and plans thus became part of the documentary heritage of an age whose civilisation demanded preservation for future generations.
THE MONUMENTS AND MUSEMS MAGAZINE’S ANNUAL
AWARDS FOR 2007
I. Category Discovery – finding – acquisition
Magdaléna Janovská – Mária Novotná
Latest explorations in Spišská Kapitula
The Cathedral of St. Martin in Spišská Kapitula, included on the List of the World’s Heritage UNESCO, is a unique example of Roman architecture not only in Slovakia but also in Europe. Between 2006 and 2007 an extensive archaeological-historical and art-historical research of this monument took place. The period-style analysis of the construction development brought new information on the object’s disposition (ground plan in the shape of the cross, existence of a cross nave, westwerk), as well as on so-far unknown and until today visually unreadable construction phases (Roman style of the western forefront, expressive early-gothic phase from the first half of the 14th century, renaissance addition to the northern sacristy and baroque adjustments to the northern façade).
The cathedral’s first construction phase is of the Roman style from the first third of the 13th century. The height of the oldest masonry points to quite a high and extensive construction. Regarding the existence of the Benedictine monastery on a nearby hill of Pažica and smaller sacral constructions in Spišská Kapitula, it is highly probable, that the Church of St. Martin was built in an older, quite significant church locality. A church with a three-nave ground plan, to which a cross-nave of the same height was adjoined, was built in the second construction phase. An apse was probably at its end. A representational vaulted hall was built in the church in the way of westwerk. The dendrology-chronological research dated it to 1224. Before 1235 a northern tower was built on the western forefront, which housed the bells. The church’s unfinished southern tower points to the fact that the cathedral was not completed. After 1307, the efforts at creating a bishop’s residence in Spiš probably called out for new construction activity. The interior of the cathedral was adorned with wall paintings; only the painting entitled the Coronation of Charles Robert of Anjou from 1317 was completely preserved. In the second half of the 14th century they added the Chapel of Corpus Christi on the southern side of the church. It perished by the end of the 15th century, when they built the Zapolya Chapel, joined it with the church’s interior and pulled down the northern side of the cross-nave. In the 17th century, they adjusted the interior and added a sacristy to the presbytery’s northern side. The baroque adjustment of the sacristy took place in 1706. In the second half of the 18th century, large adjustments were carried out in trusses and roofs. The last major construction phase was joined with early-gothic adjustments in the second half of the 19th century.
Early-renaissance tabernacle from 1497 in Nitra
The complex interior restoration of the great baroque artistic decoration in the St. Emmeram Basilica in Nitra started in 2007. The first work phase in the presbytery of the so-called upper cathedral church gave an opportunity to explore the remains under the joint stucco decoration and marbling around the pastoforium niche in the northern part of the presbytery, which was apparently joined with a baroque decoration on the main altar’s sidewalls. The most courageous expectations were met, when more and more fascinating details were revealed during the exploration. The extent of preservation and the exceptional quality of the finding made it possible to uncover the whole, although damaged, middle part of the stone early-renaissance tabernacle (the lower part and extension are missing). Exposed iconographic details, mainly the faces of figures and winged angel heads, are severely hacked off. This vandalism was probably committed during the Turkish occupation of Nitra castle between 1663 and 1664, when the cathedral got devastated. Various other damage was also done later.
The archive sources are silent about the circumstances that led to the origin of this unique work of art, which comes from the end of the 15th century. However, it is clear that it dates to 1497, as a two-line text says in the end. Petrographical analysis revealed the locality from which the used “red marble” came from – the Bányahegy lime-pit in the north-western part of the Gerecze mountain in Hungary, where in the 1490s they also extracted material for the buildings of Esztergom archbishop Ippolyt d'Este and the royal palace in Visegrad.
Extensive Nitra tabernacle (around 2.85 x 1.80 m) is unique in Slovakia with its stylish purity and quality. It is the work of a home-based stonecutter’s workshop following Italian patterns. The rustic character of the figurative parts and simplified stylized floral ornamentation with vases and dolphins from dark stone bear testimony to that. On the other hand, the embossed frames of light stone (probably also from northern Hungary) testify to a master’s skilled hands. These could only be created in the workshop of one of the Italian masters-stonemasons, using an unusual fantasy-varying repertoire of decorative motifs from the early Florentine renaissance.
Cinema Museum of the Schuster family
The former president of the Slovak Republic, Rudolf Schuster, attended the opening of the Cinema Museum of the Schuster family on October 20, 2007 in Medzev (eastern Slovakia). At the same time, a contract about dedicating the museum to the administration of the Slovak Technical Museum (STM) in Košice was signed. Rudolf Schuster – a keen photographer and a fan of film technique from the days of his youth – started to collect photographic and cinema technique with the intention of creating a memorial room in the house of his birth. He wanted to pay tribute to the first Slovak amateur film expedition to Brazil in 1927 – 1928, in which his father Alojz Schuster and brother Benediks participated. The acquisition is the result of a life-long collecting effort, which documents the pioneering stage of documentary film in Slovakia. It is a collection of wooden 35 mm film cameras from the beginning of the century, cameras of various formats for 8 and 16 mm films from the 1930s, ranging from amateur to professional, as well as colour television cameras. The collection also includes film projectors from 1900 up today, stereoscopes, lamp-houses, stereopticons or diaprojectors and tools for filmmakers.
The museum of the Schuster family includes not only a complete assortment of cinema technique, but also an ethnographic collection and documents relating to metallurgic and blacksmith production, traditional for the Medzev region. It also contains a number of souvenirs from Rudolf Schuster’s expeditions to Brazil in 1991 and 2001, entitled In the Traces of My Father.
II. Category Exposition
Barbora Glocková – Luboš Kürthy
Art collections of the 15th – 18th centuries in Kremnica
The fund of fine art collected in the Museum of Coins and Medals in Kremnica represents an interesting historical assortment. Most of it however is still concealed behind the depositary door. It is a rather small file of artistic works (150 collection items approximately), which have been gathered in Kremnica Town Museum since 1890. In the beginning, it was little more than a random rescuing of individual items, with the aim of preventing the relics from physical disposal or export. More valuable items entered the collection after the restoration of St. Catherine’s Church between 1880 and 1887 and the demolition of the parish Church of the Blessed Virgin Mary in the main square in 1880, not to mention those from the Franciscan monastery since the 1950s. Donations out of the inheritances of Kremnica citizens, which came from a cultural burgher environment, whose tradition was to stay alive until the 1950s, also created a substantial source for museum acquisitions. This all gave rise to a heterogeneous artistic collection, both in quality and content, with huge cultural-historical and artistic-aesthetic potential of which the exposition curators were to make full use. The key to unifying the inner content of the collection was the historical origin of these works – mainly the private burgher’s collection, which has been historically recorded in Kremnica at least since the 16th century, as well as the original inventory of sacral and residential church buildings timed between the 15th and 18th centuries. Another reason for the displaying of these works was the fact that this art fund of the Museums of Coins and Medals had been completely restored during the last decade.
III. Category Exhibition
Aurel Hrabušický – Petra Hanáková
Lost Time? Slovakia 1969 – 1989 in documentary photography
The Slovak National Gallery in Bratislava prepared an exceptional exhibition project for 2007 dedicated to Slovak documentary photography of the 1970s and 1980s that as yet has never been complexly displayed. The exhibition curators, Aurel Hrabušický and Petra Hanáková, who is a generation younger, did not attempt to introduce a particular period in the history of Slovak photography, but of Slovakia itself between 1969 and 1989, during the so-called normalisation period of a tightened up communist regime after the Prague Spring of 1968.
The inter-generational dialogue of the curators broke down the subject matter of landlessness into smaller, better understandable thematic segments, which captured the ambivalent impression of this period. The project’s most demanding task was the vast exploration of its sources and the selection and collection of photographs. Since it was mostly unprofessional, rather than professional photographers who practised documentary shooting in that period (factual documentary did not comply with the propaganda requirements of the regime and in any case would not be sufficient to earn anybody a living), the curators mainly searched the archives of regional cultural centres. What also helped was the large collection of unprofessional photography from the inheritance of Vladimír Vorobjov that is to be found within the SNG archives. Along with a large catalogue, there was a rich programme which also accompanied the project – e.g. discussions with photographers and photography curators as well as socio-scientific experts, and a series of commentated upon projections of documentary and feature films of that period from the Slovak Film Institute’s archives.
IV. Category Publication
Mária Čelková – Mikuláš Čelko – Igor Graus
Portraits of Chamber Counts
The publication Portraits of Chamber Counts and Personalities in Mining and Metallurgy in Slovakia in the 17 – 19th Century is dedicated to the history of the Main Chamber-Count Office in Banská Štiavnica and the collection of portraits of its representatives, which were restored during the last 30 years. They are the gems of the permanent exposition in the Jozef Kollár Gallery. The author’s trio offers a complete picture of the most significant mining institution in the former Hungary (by M. Čelko), the unique portrait collection (by M. Čelková) and their phaleristic value (by I. Graus). Thanks to being bilingual – Slovak-German – it will also serve European comparative research.
The portrait gallery of Banská Štiavnica’s chamber counts and mining directors is remarkable not only from the art-historian viewpoint but also from the perspective of regional historiography. Also important is its phaleristic aspect. Accolades pictured in the portraits are a significant iconographic source because they document the period-dictated style and the manner of the wearing of the regalia. They help to complete the picture of the individual personalities and they point to the achievements and societal level of appraisal of their bearers.
Jana Gregorová – Peter Mikloš
Looking for cultural continuity
The quarterly architectural review, Project, published by the Slovak Architects Society in Bratislava, regularly dedicates its pages to the issue of monument renovation and architectural work limited by monument care regulations. The special double issue Project 5/6 in 2007 focussed on the theme Looking for Cultural Continuity. It differed from previous conceptions mainly in the way it interpreted the issue of preserving architectural heritage in Slovakia in relation with the globalisation phenomenon. Intentionally such renovation realisations or projects were chosen to meet the criteria of the monument care in Slovakia. The aim of the publication was also to show the continual preservation of the conservation approaches since the 1960s and afterwards (establishment of the Czech-Slovak conservation school), to highlight the fact that monument renovation is the result of interdisciplinary cooperation of experts coordinated by an architect, and to draw attention to a significant drain of technically educated people in monument care.
V. Category Renovation – restoration
Warehouse No 7 – modernistic
Warehouse No 7 in Bratislava harbour is a national cultural monument. It was built in 1921 – 1922 with the ambition of bringing the old Bratislava harbour on a par with large international river harbours. It is a progressive industrial building exhibiting masterful use of ferro-concrete and has a modern inner disposition that is designed as a spacious hall on each floor, using supportive columns with mushroom caps in the open space. The make-up and exterior architectural features of the warehouse are a manifestation of the classicistic style of cathedral or palace. The exterior reflects the period formalism, according to which business buildings were designed in respect to historical message and tradition.
Warehouse No 7 deteriorated in the last quarter of the 20th century and was the target of vandalism in 2004 – 2006. It currently belongs to the newly prepared town block Pribinova Zone, which is in the neighbourhood of the new Slovak National Theatre and in the core of the International Business Centre Eurovea.
The renovation of Warehouse No 7 was prepared with the intention of speeding up reconstruction of outworn surfaces, which was to put an end to the process of spontaneous long-term desolation and abandonment of the building and to put a stop to its violent abuse. When serious static damage in the ferro-concrete construction was revealed, the construction works changed into a large static reconstruction. The renovation preserved the physical foundation and the construction design of the cultural monument and brought perspectives for its further existence.
The exterior renovation of Warehouse No 7 signalled the return of the building to its former architectural look and the aesthetics of a business structure which conformed to the original state. Quality architectural and technical details made in accordance with the original elements significantly shaped the result.
The renovation of Warehouse No 7 is an example of a cultivated reconstruction that acknowledged all the original values of a technical monument. It proved successful in linking a historical business construction with its new function, in the demanding urban concept of new town block construction, where Warehouse No 7 turns into a modernist icon respected in the panorama and ground plan of this locality. The investor’s timing of the renovation of Warehouse No 7 as a priority within the construction of the international business centre Eurovea is a gesture of acknowledgment of the unique values of this cultural monument in the particular town vicinity.
Editorially revised according to a nomination proposal of the Regional Monuments’ Board in Bratislava
Sculpture of St. George from the Church of St. Jacob in Levoča
The sculpture of St. George and the Dragon sits high up on a concave-shaped console with an illusive-painted grid, in the southeastern corner of the St. George Chapel in the Church of St. Jacob in Levoča. A content-related wall painting with the legendary scene of the rescuing of a king’s daughter can be seen in its background. Being the work of one of the most significant late-gothic woodcarvers in Europe, Master Paul from Levoča, the sculpture is a particularly important element of the chapel, as well as of the entire church. Connecting the sculpture with the wall painting is very unusual, in fact quite unique in Slovakia, as is the case abroad. Restoration of this impressive group of works finished last year. It was done by the Regional Restoration Workshop in Levoča and financed by the German foundation Messerschmitt Stiftung.
Many authors, who focus on the work of Master Paul, date the sculpture and the painting to 1515, the epoch written in the tympanum of the St. George Chapel. The afore-mentioned wall painting could also date to this period. The restoration of the sculpture did not bring any new information; it was the restoration of the wall painting that shed more light on the work evaluation. We do not know the name of the artist, but based on the painting’s quality, we can assume he was better skilled in the technique of panelled painting than wall painting. As for the fact that Master Paul created the sculpture, we suppose the artist of the painting scene could well have been the painter Hans with the initials HT (i.e. Hans/Johannes T), as the two had long been joined in regular cooperation.
VI. Category Event
The Wagon Project
The Museum of Slovak National Uprising in Banská Bystrica successfully implemented the idea of a travelling exhibition about the holocaust installed in railway carriages in 2007, marking the 65th anniversary of the beginning of Slovak Jew deportations (March 25, 1942). The exposition is installed in two carriages identical with those that were used during the deportations. The first carriage displays the history of the anti-Jew measures issued after 1938 and their culmination in two deportation waves. Along with the Jewish, it also captures the Roma holocaust in Slovakia. On period photographs accompanied by texts, the centre of the carriage documents the fate of 20 real people, who were persecuted based on their racial background between 1938 and 1945. The second carriage is empty, as was the case during the deportations. A place for one person and a place for five people are marked on the floor, so the visitors could discover for themselves how little space was reserved for the deported ones. Sound and light effects help to simulate the deportation. To enhance the authenticity of the transport the visitors are locked in the carriage. There is a large screen in the carriage, where the visitors can watch the stories of the deportation victims. The Milan Šimečka Foundation and the Holocaust Documentation Centre provided these for the museum. The Wagon Project travelled all around Slovakia between March 25 and November 9 in 2007. It stopped in 30 towns.
Cultural heritage through children’s eyes
The elementary school at Cádrova Street in Bratislava had cooperated for three years with the 1st grade school from the French municipality of Veigy-Foncenex in Upper Savoy and the 2nd grade school from the Italian municipality of Vaiano Cremasco in Lombardy on a project entitled Understanding Cultural Heritage and Architecture. The international school partnership culminated in the Socrates-Comenius programme, and after fulfilling the National Agency requirements in the school year of 2005/2006, they gained the grant for its realisation.
During the first year of the project, the pupils
worked on the theme of a Fine Artist. Each school chose a painter typical for
their country or region and following his/her style, the children created their
works during their school’s art lessons. The Bratislava school took inspiration
from the work of Ľudovít Fulla. In the second year of the project, the partners
chose the theme – Significant Historical Place of My Town or Region. The Slovak
school opted for the Primate’s Palace in Bratislava. In this building, Napoleon
signed the so-called Bratislava Peace (the Peace of Pressburg) on December of
1805, during his triumphant mission across Europe. After two school visits to
the Primate’s Palace, focus was placed on the building’s exterior (the hat of
Cardinal Batthyány, the fresco in tympanum, the equestrian sculpture of St.
George and the memorial panels reminding one of the Bratislava Peace) and the
palace’s interior (rare 17th -century tapestries made in England that picture
the ancient story of Hero and Leander), the pupils created a Primate’s Palace
book during their art lessons using texts, photographs and art works. Made in
three exemplars, the children presented two books to their French and Italian
partners and an approach was made to the French Institute in Bratislava with a
request for holding an exhibition in their rooms. The mutual exhibition that
took place was named Understanding Cultural Heritage and Architecture through
the Eyes of the Children of Three Countries.
VII. Category Media
Zvolen and Pustý Castle. In traces of ancient history
The multimedia CD-ROM presentation Zvolen and Pustý hrad (Abandoned Castle), subtitled In Traces of Ancient History, is the outcome of a joint effort between the town and archaeologists. Its aim is to offer a more complex analysis of the results of 17 seasons of the exploration of the extinct architecture of Pustý hrad and 7 seasons of the research at the Zvolen main square. In the past, research findings were continuously published in an archaeological textbook and technical magazines. There were several propagation booklets and card files issued for the general public. In 2001 came the first multimedia CD-ROM Zvolen and Pustý hrad. The large volume and attractiveness of the new exploration results called for an encyclopaedia-like processing, which could be best achieved through modern information technologies. Rich photo archive and discovery news from individual seasons form the basis of the new presentation. The creators processed hundreds of slides and drawing and planning documentation, and created academic reconstructions of main castle objects using 3D models. They submitted a manifold mosaic about the archaeologically uncovered history of the town Zvolen and Pustý hrad castle. Technical texts were narrated into easily understood and interest maintaining form in three languages (Slovak, German, English). A small team of creators – editor, archaeologist and programmer – aimed to produce a medium that would attract pupils of primary and secondary schools, teachers, foreign visitors, fans of educational-cultural tourism and all those interested in uncovering the past through archaeological research.
The annual prizes of the Monuments and Museums review for 2007 will be personally handed over to their winners on the occasion of the ceremonious opening of the European Heritage Days 2008 in the Slovak Republic on September 11, 2008 at 14:00 in the Church of St. Catherine in Kremnica.
8:00 - 12:00 13:00 - 15:00
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každý pracovný deň
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Pondelok až štvrtok
8:00 - 12:00 13:00 - 15:00 Piatok
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Pondelok až štvrtok
8:30 - 12:00 13:00 - 15:00 Piatok
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