Preskočiť menu

Grafická verzia

Hlavné menu

Revue Pamiatky a múzeá - Summary 4/2009

zverejnené: 3. mája 2011
aktualizované: 21. apríla 2012

Monuments Preservation in SLOVAKIA IN THE YEARS 1919 – 1939

Martina Orosová
The Organisation of Monuments Preservation in the Interwar Period
Before the establishment of the Czechoslovak Republic, there were still two monuments boards which had been resident in Prague since 1912: The Imperial-Royal Terrestrial Monuments Board in the Czech Kingdom and the K. k. Landesdenkmalamt für das Königreich Böhmen. Moravia and Silesia came under the auspices of the Vienna Central Commission for Research and Preservation of Architectural Monuments and Slovakia under the Hungarian Commission for Monuments in Budapest until 1918. In September 1918, the experts of the Czechoslovak National Committee prepared a concept of the future Ministry of Education and National Edification (MŠANO), which took on the mantle of monument care in the new Czechoslovakia. It took several months for the situation to stabilise itself and for the minister in full charge of the administration of Slovakia, Vavro Šrobár, to consider culture issues. The architect Dušan Jurkovič played a crucial role in this process. He came from Brno, soaked in Czech enthusiasm, and to the surprise of many entered state power. Minister Šrobár appointed him as Government Commissary for Monuments Preservation on April 1, 1919. He began his function in May 1919 and instantly impacted on the competence of his office – the Government Commissariat for Monuments Preservation (thereinafter the Government Commissariat) – with an organisation for live folk art and artistic industry. His co-workers included J.  Hofman, J. Vydra, J. Marek, B. Mathesius, F. Faulhammer and J. Reichert.
Act No. 11/1918 Coll., which enabled the Czechoslovak state to take over all Austrian and Hungarian laws and regulations, confirming their relevance, was accepted on the first day of the republic’s origin, on October 28, 1918.The Hungarian Act No. XXXIX/1881 remained in effect in Slovakia. The new situation, however, demanded a new modification of monument care. The powers of the plenipotentiary minister were almost unlimited at that time and his regulations were abreast of laws. Art historian Jan Hofman, who entered the services of the Government Commissariat on July 1, 1919 with a legal background, prepared a very advanced text of a regulation that was to amend monument care in Slovakia and bring it nearer to that practised in the Czech Republic. It delegated the competence of the Hungarian Commission for Monuments as well as the Hungarian Commission for Museums to the Government Commissariat. The Commissariat made decisions on all affairs that influenced the protection of monuments and nature and all state and municipal bodies were obliged to report on such issues. The Government Commissariat’s institute thus also helped in the development of protective legislation. Its aptitude embraced the protection of immovable monuments, the supervision of public, religious and guilds collections, the registration of excavations (along with the State Archaeological Institute), and the control of monuments’ export and antiquity business. The commissariat’s crucial role was believed to be the establishment of an official cadastre of monuments (a central register), the documentation of monuments (the establishment of a photographic studio), help with solving art history and archaeological questions, and the supervision of museums. Also important was promotional activity supported by the belief that the protection of monuments and nature necessitated constant communication with the public. 
Based on the output of the Presidium of MŠANO from 23 May 1922, the Government Commissariat was cancelled and its agenda transferred to the II. (Edifying) Department at MŠANO in Bratislava, where some workers of the abolished commissariat were delimitated. The structure of the department for national edification, however, did not include the Government Commissariat’s whole agenda. The issues of monument preservation and museums were assigned to the State Inspectorate of Archives and Libraries in Slovakia. 
The State Department for Monuments Preservation (thereinafter State Department, 1922 – 1939) represented another phase in the history of monument care in Slovakia. It was to be a temporary solution before its transformation to the State Monuments Board in Bratislava. The monument law, which was to assign activities to individual monuments boards, however, was not accepted until the breakdown of Czechoslovakia and the State Department thus functioned for additional 17 years. It finally ceased to exist after the origin of the first Slovak Republic in March 1939 with issued regulation No. 29/1939 of the Slovak Code of Law, which transferred its agency to the Slovak Ministry of Education and National Edification.
The Government Commissariat for Monuments Protection and the State Department for Monuments Preservation in Slovakia were the first monuments institutions to lay down the foundations of monumentology as a new science in Slovakia.

Lukáš Svěchota
Monuments and the Treaty of Trianon
Versailles and the castles around Paris were to be places of negotiations, after the First World War, over the life and fate of those new states that were formed after the collapse of Austro-Hungary. One such state was the Czechoslovak Republic. The creation of peace treaties was a long process that had to respect the proposals, requests and remarks of all participating parties. The busy work of diplomats and established commissions resulted in several treaties. The most important for the origin and existence of Czechoslovakia were the Treaty of Saint-Germain (10 September 1919) and the Treaty of Trianon (4 June 1920). The treaties covered a large spectrum of external and internal functioning of the defeated states. Individual parts, articles, paragraphs and segments obliged them to fulfil demands, or specified commitments towards the states named in the treaties.
The Treaty of Trianon – The Treaty of Peace between the Allied and Associated Powers and Hungary, which is still of great interest among many experts and laics, was key for development in Slovakia. The texts of these peace treaties were to also touch upon aspects of monuments and archive documents.
From time immemorial, archives and archive materials had been part of the demands of the winner towards the defeated. Compared to the Czech Republic, which could base its demands on an administrative position within the former monarchy, Slovakia, as a whole, was never to form an independent territorial-administrative unit of Hungary. It was therefore necessary to make preparatory movements and formulate a statement and demands for acquiring archive and registry materials and support those justifiably. The Ministry of Education and National Edification (MŠANO) in Prague delegated this task to Václav Chaloupecký, inspector of archives and libraries for Slovakia, on 12 May 1919. In line with tackling a similar situation during the peace negotiations with Austria, there were several types of documents, two of which are key. The first –the Memorandum on Handing over Historical and Artistic Monuments from Hungary, joined in its contents the Memorandum on the Archive System in Slovakia from January 1919, in which Chaloupecký mentioned the need for a central archive for Slovakia, which would keep the archives gained from Hungary and which would fulfil scientific and administration tasks. The second key documents were the formulations of specific demands proposed for individual articles of the peace treaty with Hungary.
It is mainly articles No. 77, 175 – 179 and 249 that deal with transferring and returning the archive documents, libraries, antiquities and monuments in the final version of the peace treaty with Hungary, which was accepted after Law No. 102/1922 Coll. The text of the articles is similar in content to the Treaty of Saint-Germain, or the proposals of Prof. Chaloupecký. The commitment of new states to reciprocally return recorded material not more than 20 years old, was, unlike the proposals of Prof. Chaloupecký, stated in a separate article No. 178. 
Articles No. 177 and 249 obliged Hungary to seal a friendly treaty with involved states, if they were to ask for it. Based on that, an archive-record and monument separation would follow. This was not unlike article No. 196 of the Saint-Germain Treaty. As in the case of Austria, the mutual bilateral negotiations were to finally take place. The result was the Adjustment of Releasing the Correct Records Agreed between the Czechoslovak Republic and Hungarian Kingdom from 1927. The adjustment tried to formally fulfil the provisions of the peace treaty and define binding regulations and the means of their realisation. De facto, though, it did not bring about the mutual archive and record separation to the same extent and quality as that of the results negotiated with Austria. Despite the strong period undertone, the peace treaties were to bear a permanent message, which was to offer subsistence warranties for the involved states, including Slovakia.

Renata Glaser-Opitzová
Archaeological heritage
After the origin of Czechoslovakia, in 1919, the Ministry in full charge of the administration of Slovakia issued Decree No. 155, which started the journey of protecting monuments and archaeological findings in Slovakia in a new era. Unfortunately, during the organisation of the protection of archaeological localities the practice revealed that the largest problem of monument preservation in Czechoslovakia was the varied legal heritage of the succession state. The Western part of the Republic obeyed the laws originating in the imperial-royal Austrian legal system. Slovakia and Carpathian Ruthenia followed the Hungarian legal tradition. This duality in official communication lasted until the end of the first Czechoslovak Republic. In Slovakia, along with Decree No. 155/1919, the Hungarian Law No. XXXIX from 24 May 1881 was also valid. The Decree No. 155/1919 transferred all powers of the Hungarian Commission for Monuments to the Government Commissariat for Monuments Preservation in Slovakia. The Commissariat also took over the responsibilities of the former Country’s Main Inspectorate of Museums and Libraries (Múzeumok és Könyvtárak Országos Főfelügyelősége). The newly approved law granted proficiency to the institution in the field of today’s cultural heritage. All state and municipal offices were obliged to support the commissariat and draw its attention to the affairs concerning the protection of artistic, historical, folk and natural monuments. In archaeology, the Commissariat was entitled to decide on archaeological excavations along with the State Archaeological Institute.
The situation in the protection of archaeological findings in 1919 – 1939 was to be different to the monuments preservation. Archaeological localities were to be protected in cooperation with the Government Commissariat (since 1923 the State Department for Monuments Preservation in Slovakia) and the State Archaeological Office, which, however, was never established as an independent body in Slovakia. The State Archaeological Institute with the seat in Prague was established in 1919 and L. Niederle was its first director. Undeveloped professional exploration and absence of qualified workers in Slovakia had caused the protection of archaeological findings to be under one official agenda with monuments preservation. The state conservationist for primeval and roman monuments, or archaeological monuments, Jan Eisner, who was appointed by L. Niederle, de facto worked in the commissariat structure and later in the state department. He used the same letter-head, records were filed into a shared registry and mail was jointly dispatched. However, the letters carried the stamp of the State Archaeological Institute. 
Another problem was building archaeology on a national basis. Hungarian archaeologists who were grouped around F. Rómer, Spiš archaeologists and a Slovak group of archaeological enthusiasts worked strictly regionally. The origin of Czechoslovakia and the activity of the State Archaeological Institute and Commissariat, or Department for Monuments Preservation, synchronized efforts of these groups in the end, removed the national principle and augmented the professionalism of Slovak architecture. The credit mainly goes to J. Eisner, who published detailed records on primeval and early-historic research from the beginning of his activity in Slovakia. He co-worked with the Homeland Museum and lectured at Comenius University in Bratislava. His research was to lead to several noted discoveries, mainly in the localities of Bratislava-Devín and Devínska Nová Ves. He capped the most fruitful period of his activity from 1920 to 1933 with the publication of the renowned work, Slovakia in the Primeval Age. 

Bronislava Porubská
Sacral monuments
Sacral buildings were at the forefront of the group of monuments supervised by the Government Commissariat for Monuments Preservation in Slovakia and later, his successor, the State Department for Monuments Preservation in Slovakia. Protection of these buildings was an important role for these monuments institutions. Reparations and restorations of historic churches and chapels in small Slovak municipalities, inevitably led to problems such as overcoming the very bad technical state of these constructions, the chronic absence of financial means for their reparation and maintenance, and their dependence on state financial support. It was often necessary to search for solutions compliant with the principles of monuments preservation as well as the requirements of the church, which mainly needed a suitable space for holding its services. When preserving the listed sacral objects, the Government Commissariat tried to invite the church offices for direct cooperation. It chiefly appealed to the high spiritual as well as material value of the church monuments and the significance and importance of their protection as sacral and national artistic properties. In the interest of preventing possible damage to church monuments, parish offices were obliged to report on the repairs and reconstructions of churches and their interiors to the relevant surveyor’s office or directly to the Government Commissariat. Consultation with the monuments board was also required when selling or exchanging parts of mobiliari. Not only during the reconstructions and reparations of old churches, but also during the construction of new ones, builders had to work out plans that were first approved by the monuments board. This prerequisite was usually integral to construction permission.   
To improve the organisation aimed at protecting church monuments, J. Hofman suggested to the monuments department at the Ministry of Education and the National Edification (MŠANO) in Bratislava, that they organise annual lectures on monuments preservation for clerks and students of theological faculties. However, the attempt to protect church monuments did not always meet with the understanding of the church. Several examples point to the fact that old churches, unfortunately, did not represent cultural, historical or artistic value for the church community. They were more or less merely purpose-built buildings, which whenever they ceased to serve their purpose, could be completely rebuilt or demolished and the material used for some new construction. Therefore, appeals to the church to respect the competence of the monuments board had to be repeated from time to time as well as to the district offices where the issuing of construction permits and the execution of the technical supervision of a construction with a certificate for incorrect progress was to damage the monument.
In 1935, the State Department submitted its own proposal of general instructions for repairing church patronal buildings, where it recommended a suitable roof covering, construction material and stonework, and emphasised the preservation of original coatings and construction features on historic buildings. Nevertheless, the final result of monument renovation of the church buildings was often subject to the builders’ choice and their reluctance to obey the State Department’s instructions. The author of the article illustrates several negative examples of historic church building reconstructions in Chmeľov, Beloveža, Križovany nad Dudváhom, Brezany, Lisková and Lednické Rovne.    

Magdaléna Brázdilová
Restoration of artistic monuments
Austrian General Conservationist Alois Riegl presented a new theory in 1903, which was not only to elucidate the term of monument as historic evidence with artistic-historic value but also to introduce emotional postulates in the subject. More than anything, a monument should encompass the price of its age and any sort of interference with its surface should be seen as akin to a violation of the Pieta towards it. Riegl’s guidelines were to have become the basis for reorganisation of the Vienna Central Commission for Monuments Care soon after his death in 1904, which was led by his successor, Professor Max Dvořák. What this meant was that, instead of a restoration project, there was to be scientific research and instead of practice, conservational maintenance.
Restoration had become an independent field in the first half of the 20th century. No concept, incidentalness, as well as frequent insensitive interventions into monuments thus far, had led in 1930 to the summoning of an international congress to Rome on the preservation and sustainability of monuments. New methods originated in the theory and practice of restoration as an independent discipline, which became a vital component of monuments preservation. The request was being set for a restorer and for securing the optimal result of his/her works. Along with knowledge, manual skills and the open mind of the restorer what was also expected was the education and orientation in relative natural and fine arts disciplines. This reality had also impacted on the lack of a complete theory of restoration, a theory of artistic significance of restoration intervention and aesthetic values of a restored work or monument. It is common nowadays to recognise restoration of artistic works and monuments as a specialised artistic activity that uses relative natural disciplines and is subject to permanent correction of fine arts disciplines.
The Government Commissariat for Monuments Preservation in Slovakia (1919 – 1922) did not deal with the problem of monuments renovation at the beginning of its existence. It only happened after architect D. Jurkovič, who did not support a strict conservation method, left and was replaced by conservationist and museologist Jan Hofman, that the commissariat began to consistently guide the practice of renovation and restoration of monuments. The commissariat handled the issue of monuments research on ongoing restoration works, helped with securing scarce conservation material, organised workshops for conservationists and recommended experts for specialised works. Later, its workers included Vladimír Wagner and Václav Mencl, who focused on fieldwork. V. Wagner worked on the history of Slovak fine art and V. Mencl became the expert on Slovak medieval architecture. Basically, the methods of renovation and care of monuments applied in practice were taken from Riegl and Dvořák. During restoration, however, negative events also occurred. An analytical conservation method in some cases led to the uncovering and presentation of various fragments, e.g. older architectural articles and painted decorations within renovation, regardless of the monument’s overall image, in the way it is defined by composition and all its expressive components.

Terézia Otter-Volková
Bratislava city regulation
In 1919, the then German-Hungarian town of Pressburg, Pozsony or Prešporok became unexpectedly and almost overnight the capital of Slovakia. One argument for its choice was, apart from the size, the city’s historical experience as a political centre of former Hungary during the Turkish occupation of Buda. This period has imprinted a significant urban character on latter Bratislava, which differed from other Slovak towns. A number of already existing representative public buildings and a relatively developed infrastructure were the practical reasons for the city to become the official centre of Slovakia.
In the following years, however, the existing buildings did not satisfy the needs of an emerging state administration as well as the representations of various businesses, new schools of all levels, and scientific and cultural institutions. There was also a rapid growth of inhabitants (from 85,000 in 1919 to almost double the number, 140,000 in 1934) and with this came a shortage of flats. The town grew quickly; new districts were added mainly in the east and many factories were building their own colonies. The number of inhabitants grew very quickly also in the surrounding municipalities, mainly in Petržalka. A series of laws relating to the building industry were gradually issued in 1921 – 1927. These were meant to eliminate the scarcity of flats. Most of the flats in Bratislava were built by cooperatives, some by the state. Almost half of the flats that originated before 1928 were built in 1926 – 1928, when the law on tax relief for new buildings was issued.     
The Government Commissariat for Monuments Protection in Slovakia had foreseen the problems with uncontrollable growth of the town shortly after its origin. The protection of architectural monuments depends on regulation, wrote Jan Hofman. The commissariat therefore had already set to work on the revision of the regulation plan by June 1919. Until 1923 it had regularly appealed to town representatives and made a list of buildings that were to become examples of construction grants and changes in the town. The list mainly was to focus on the Old town area with the largest concentration of monuments. Apart from the monuments themselves, including memorials and protected greenery, it also designated regions with restricted building height and protected construction lines of streets. 
In 1923 – 1925, the State Department for Monuments Preservation, the successor of the Government Commissariat, continued in its efforts to protect Bratislava monuments through the regulation plan. The committee for monuments preservation in the regulation plan of Bratislava gathered the town representatives and conservationists (J. Hofman for the State Department) as well the representatives of art societies and famous architects J. Grossman, F. Wimmer, A. Balán, A. Szönyi and K. Šilinger. The committee mainly focused on preserving the medieval ground plan of the Old Town, including the ratio between the heights of the building and sizes of the streets and squares; designating the height of buildings as an average height of the then built-up area. Outside the inner town, the initiative focused on regulating the slopes of the castle hill from Židovská Street to Podhradie, designing the Danube embankment by mainly determining the height of the built-up area and new building on the land of the Republic’s Square (today’s SNP Square). The main regulation requirement was that the future development was a natural continuation of the past – wrote Jan Hofman, summarizing the first attempts for the regulating of Bratislava as the centre of Slovakia.    

Lenka Ulašinová-Bystrianska – Martina Orosová
Traditional folk architecture and culture
Traditional material culture had been waiting a long time to be discovered. The 19th century had brought with it an attempt to present the skills and aesthetics of the common man’s world. Contemporary art now started searching for inspiration in folk-artistic expression. Folk architecture too was to receive an unusual amount of attention. Models of constructions, together with furnishings and items of traditional material culture, were now being presented in several international exhibitions (London, Paris, Vienna, Amsterdam, and Krakow). Shortly after a new exposition of several transported monuments of folk architecture had opened in Stockholm’s open-air museum in 1891, the then nationally oriented Czechoslovak society had likewise joined with those pioneers presenting folk architecture or folk culture as such, in what was a new dimension. The original intention to build a Czech cottage with an exposition of folk art for the provincial exhibition in 1891 and the ethnographical Czecho-Slavic exhibition, which took place in 1895 in Prague, became in fact a set of buildings representing Czech and Slovak folk architecture. A cottage from the Slovak-Moravian borderland, a homestead from Čičmany and a cottage from Orava represented Slovakia. Dušan Jurkovič was the main architect of this complex. The personality of this first government commissary for monuments preservation in Slovakia was to represent a milestone in professional interest in countryside building culture in Slovakia. D. Jurkovič, along with other organisers of the exhibition, tried to preserve the existing constructions and later establish a Slavic museum of folk architecture in nature. This idea, however, did not come to fruition at that time.
Within its compass, the government commissariat, with D. Jurkovič at the helm, had mainly attempted the revival of so-called folk crafts and the return of monuments exported by various means behind Slovak borders or restriction of further export. It was also quite active in an edifying and educational way, organising exhibitions, as well as securing and controlling orders for folk-artistic products. This pointed at a clear effort to increase professionalism in production, and to enlarge and sustain or renovate traditional production techniques. The report on the Government Commissariat’s activity in 1919 – 1920 states that more than half of the tasks were directed to the organisation and support of existing and emerging workshops (e.g. the private ceramic workshop of Ferdiš Kostka in Stupava, ceramic workshops in Modra,the State Embroidery Workshop in Vajnory) and schools (e.g.the State Lace School in Kremnica with a branch in Staré Hory). The Government Commissariat controlled and directed activity of various art-craft societies (e.g. Izabella and Lipa). Most attention was dedicated to ceramics and textile production (the production of laces and embroidery) but this also applied to basketry and folk painting. The officers responsible for these activities at the Government Commissariat were Josef Vydra and Antonín Václavík.

Miloš Dudáš
Renovation of the Čičmany municipality
The distinctive municipality of Čičmany (Žilina district), part of which is a monument reservation of folk architecture, was according to the maps from the 18th and 19th centuries formed by freely grouped houses along the river Rajčianka (originally called Žiliňanka) with a visible division of individual farms. Because of quite severe poverty and long lasting Hungarian heritage custom law, the form of the so-called large-family had been actively preserved in Čičmany until the beginning of the 20th century. It was not exceptional to see 20-30 people living in one dwelling, which in its way formed the Čičmany house, its architecture, interior and spatial division.    
Original the Čičmany house had two or three rooms: a room – entrance hall and a storeroom. The room had for a long time used a kiln with an open fireplace; thus called the black room. Its transformation to a clean room without a fire happened in the main after the First World War. The storerooms were not only used for storing food, clothes, dishes and tiny craft products, they also had a housing function – mainly for the young ones, single members of the family or childless newly-weds. If there was a lack of space in the house, the storerooms were made in the attics of ground-floor houses and a connection could be made here with later storied houses. From an artistic point of view, the decoration on the houses’ exterior log walls is most interesting. Rich painting in the form of stylised geometric patterns, unique in Slovakia, is similarly unique in the entire Central European region.  
Čičmany had been seriously damaged several times by destructive fire in the first half of the 20th century. In 1907, it devastated the southern part of the municipality, burning down the school and 45 buildings (residential houses and farm houses). In 1921 it burnt down 49 residential houses, which meant that almost half of the municipality was destroyed and more than 500 people lost their living. The fire in April 1945 completely destroyed 84 buildings, heavily damaged 59 and lightly damaged 101 buildings. As a result of these fires, the original urban and architectural qualities of Čičmany were to be significantly devalued. After the most devastating fire on 8 October 1921, the government official and architect Dušan Jurkovič pointed to the exclusivity of this locality, which was in urgent need of financial help and state assistance. A year after the fire, preparations for complex renovation of the destroyed village were to commence. The state offered special support to the damaged ones stipulating that the new houses were to be built in the traditional style of local wooden architecture. The Government Commissariat went on to assign the work for designing regulations and plans for the new buildings financed by the state. Unfortunately, neither in the 1920s nor after the last fire in 1945, were the regulations for renovating the municipality’s traditional architecture enforced into building practice. The last original storied house in Čičmany with black room and open fireplace (the so-called Petrášovce), which was not destroyed by the fires, was pulled down in 1958 despite the efforts of monument institutions. A year later they partially pulled down house No. 137 (the so-called Radenov house) from 1924. Fortunately, this was renewed as a museum in 1967 and today belongs to Považie Museum in Žilina, along with house No. 42.

Miroslav Palárik
Museology in Czechoslovakia
The collapse of Austro-Hungary and the origin of the first Czechoslovak Republic meant new possibilities in the culture field. Slovakia “inherited” several museums after the First World War, but only the Slovak Museum in Turčiansky Svätý Martin could be considered as an exclusively Slovak institution. The museums were organised under the Ministry of Education and National Edification (MŠANO); however, there was no defining law concerning the role and competence of these cultural institutions. Also noticeable by its absence in the state was the concept of museum study development. Most of the museums did not belong to the state, but were of a societal, district, town or private character. Collections and museums (apart from state ones) were considered to be private properties and therefore the approval or rejection of MŠANO recommendations depended on the cooperation of the museum owner. The Ministry of Education and National Edification therefore supported the ambition to create an organisation of museologists – the Union of Czechoslovak Museums (SČM), where a consensus of its members could help to improve the museum situation.
Another state institute that cared about museum collections at that time was the Government Commissariat for Monuments Preservation in Slovakia (1919). Its proficiency was to include control over buildings built before 1850 and movable church and guild monuments. It also secured the supervision of technical and archaeological excavations, museum artefacts and antiquities. In the museology field, it was to provide revisions in Slovak museums in cooperation with SČM, based on which state granted subventions. 
In between the wars, Slovak museology struggled with many shortcomings in the administration and protection of the collection fund and its presentation, the coordination of museum establishment, the solving of competence disputes and a lack of suitable space and workers. During the time of the Czechoslovak Republic, however, the law that would explicitly assign competence to the museums was not accepted. Attempts at approving museum law failed. In the mentioned period, only two regulations related to museology and the protection of collection items. The regulations from 1918 and 1938 had banned the export of cultural and monument (museum) artefacts from the country. This was under the threat of financial sanctions and it is worthy of note that those competent had been working on approving the first museum law up until the 1960s. 

Henrieta Žažová
Libraries in the agenda of the monument institutions
The funds of the monuments institutions that worked in Slovakia in the interwar period, i.e. the Government Commissariat for Monuments Preservation in Slovakia (1919 – 1922) and the State Department for Monuments Preservation in Slovakia (1922 – 1939), are kept in the Archives of Slovakia’s Monuments Board in Bratislava and contain history records of the Bratislava University Library (UKB) and the library’s written heritage.
The supervision of public libraries after the origin of Czechoslovakia was in the hands of the Ministry of Education and National Edification (MŠANO) in Prague and its Bratislava department. Václav Chaloupecký was appointed as state inspector of archives and libraries in Slovakia and kept this role until the end of 1938, his sole responsibility being for scientific libraries.
The library of the newly established Comenius University in Bratislava was funded as a consequence of taking over the library of the Hungarian Royal Elizabeth University into the administration of the Czechoslovak state on October 10, 1919. The librarian of Prague’s University Library Jan Emler, was named as government commissary and from 1921 as director of UKB. The statute of library was not issued in the interwar period. According to J. Emler, UKB had a dual mission: a general one, regarding the objective scientific goal and the significance of the university, and a special one, regarding the unique national character and territorial location of this university. Jozef Schützner, who directed UKB in 1931 – 1939, continued in the development concept proposed by his predecessor Emler.
Even though J. Emler was chiefly a librarian, he also showed great interest in the preservation of artistic monuments in Bratislava. He had worked as a conservationist with the monuments board in Prague since 1906 and after his arrival in Slovakia actively corresponded with the commissariat for monuments in terms of granting subventions for buying books and magazines, preserving historical furniture in the former Jesuit library, which was acquired by UKB, and adapting the former Klarisky (St. Clara) monastery interior into a library. In the second half of the 1920s, he asked for reparation of buildings and the restoration of discovered frescos. Emler also aimed at the preservation of neglected parish libraries. 
The largest group in the agenda of the monuments institutes regarding libraries were the records on export and this could be directly related to the mission of the Government Commissariat for Monuments Preservation in Slovakia, which supervised the monuments export and antiquities trade. 
The biggest recorded problem in export concerned the nobility libraries. In the 1930s, under the influence of political changes in Europe, the law on export was more frequently broken and despite the UKB’s interest, many of the rare earliest prints were exported abroad and sold in auctions.

Viliam Stockmann
The Government Commissariat for Monuments Preservation and nature protection 
The work of the Government Commissariat for Monuments Preservation in Slovakia, which was transformed into the State Department of Monuments Preservation in Slovakia, is little known but is probably representative of the most interesting period in the history of state nature protection in Slovakia, presenting a separate chapter in the field.   
Following the collapse of Austro-Hungary and the origin of the Czechoslovak Republic, all connections of Slovak monuments, including natural ones, to the State Monuments Commission in Budapest broke down. Simultaneously, the first Slovak monuments institutes were established in Bratislava in 1919 as a result of the incentives of two personalities – Slovak architect, Dušan Jurkovič and Czech conservationist, theorist and state official of monuments care, Zdeněk Wirth.   
Independent Slovak monuments administration was established following the directive of the minister in full charge of the administration of Slovakia, Vavro Šrobár, from October 20, 1919, based on which the Government Commissariat was responsible for official negotiations about construction and other interventions in the areas that feature natural monuments, fauna, flora and geological formations. The spiritual father of this directive was Jan Hofman, future head of the Government Commissariat. This advanced directive was to form a legal as well as practical basis for Slovakia’s nature and country protection for almost all of the following two decades. It meant that when first devising the commissariat’s activities, they already remembered the most basic tasks of monuments preservation and nature protection, and attempted to solve preservation problems from a modern perspective, in comparison with a previous conservational one.
In 1919 – 1939, the Government Commissariat, or State Department, handled the issue of nature protection for the whole territory of Slovakia. It mainly concerned itself with the care of a few natural reservations, the preservation of trees before axing, the protection of birds and other fauna as well as flora, mainly alpines, and the protection of caves and parks. Apart from working out the basic concept of nature protection, the department for monuments preservation also prepared the proclamation of a natural Tatra park and the law on state protection of nature. It also went on to register potential areas for territorial protection in the form of natural reservations.  

Stories of monuments

Veronika Kapišinská
Lisková Church – history meets modern style
When deliberating over the architecture of a new church in the northern Slovak municipality of Lisková in 1934, the fate of the old one was sealed. Abandoned for many years, the early gothic building, closed because of serious static damage and in a state of disrepair, was officially pulled down. Only the tower, which had been modified in baroque style, was rescued, while the church gave up its position for the planned building that would fulfil the new capacity and functional demands. This particular choice of modern building, which came from the studio of a significant architect of the interwar period, Jindřich Merganc, can doubtlessly be labelled a lucky one.  
The history of the original church, in the municipality of Lisková near Ružomberok, dated from the early Medieval Ages. According to written sources, its existence dates from 1397. The single-nave church was originally without a tower but this was later substituted by means of a wooden belfry. Probably during the baroque reconstruction in 1697, it received a masonry tower. Evangelists took on responsibility for it in the second half of the 17th century and in 1706 – 1709. From the end of the 18th century, attempts at church reconstruction, motivated by increased capacity demands, were evident. Large reconstruction, according to the plan of A. Pawelka from 1799, took place in 1803. The possibility of further church enlargement was discussed in 1914, but the First World War suddenly interrupted the building process. Nevertheless, even during 1915 – 1918 Fridrich Schulek made several plans. These were mostly monumental concepts of a historicist character, which meant the retention of the baroque tower. The intended reconstruction did not happen in the end, nor did the later attempts at reconstruction in 1922 – 1925. The church, however, had been officially closed since 1927 because of static damage. When demolition works started at the end of 1934, the modern project of architect Jindřich Merganc from Bratislava had already come into fruition. Having finally taken place, this was to give rise to a rare symbiosis of a fragment of historic architecture and modern sacral construction.   

Jana Oršulová
The Lüneburg tapestry in the SNM

The collections of the SNM-Historic Museum hide a tapestry of atypical measurements (820 cm long and 104 cm wide). The Renaissance work was last investigated by M. Janovíčková (Monuments and Museums 4/1997), who identified the depicted theme with the story of Esther from the Old Testament. She drew attention to an almost identical work –a tapestry weaved in the Flemish technique picturing the story of Tobias from 1559, which has been described in literature as a Lüneburg work. Based on analogies, she localised the origin of the item to the German town of Lüneburg. However, she left open the question of the identification of the heraldic decoration of the tapestry and there was no clarification as to the journey of the tapestry to the collections of SNM.  
The latest research in the Archives of Slovakia’s Monuments Board (the fund of the State Department for Monuments Preservation in Slovakia) showed that Count Ján Pálffy (1829 – 1908), who was probably the most famous collector in this noble family, acquired the item for his property. His private collection in what was then Hungary was beyond compare. Since he died without heirs and the dispute over his heritage was to take many years, the tapestry finally left Pálffy’s castle in Pezinok in 1933 to enter the collections of the Homeland Museum in Bratislava (predecessor of the Slovak National Museum). 
The tapestry with the heraldic decoration was probably created for the wedding ceremony of a member of the significant Lüneburg patrician family von Dassel, as this family’s coat of arms is placed on the tapestry’s most important part. Thanks to the cooperation of Dr. E. Michael from the Museum of Lüneburg Princedom, it was clearly stated that the tapestry bears the coats of arms of the married couple Ludolf (III.) von Dassel (1539 – 1609) and Ilsabe von Dithmersen (1550 – 1601). They got married in 1576 which is the probable year of the tapestry’s origin. Ludolf III. von Dassel became town alderman in 1573 and mayor in 1692. The signature of the maker has hitherto not been clearly assessed.
The article also draws attention to other interesting items from the Lüneburg museum. These can be linked to members of the von Dassel family and bear their coat of arms. Regarding the existing data of the historic topography of the town of Lüneburg, one can assume that the tapestry at the time of its origin probably furnished an exclusive residential interior of house No. 31 at Neue Sülze, which belonged to Ludolf III.von Dassel and earlier his father. Alternatively it was later in the house of his daughter Ilsabe at 8 Neue Sülze. Unfortunately, these houses have not been preserved.
Members of the significant Lüneburg patrician family von Dassel had lived in this town until the second half of the 19th century. The Museum in Lüneburg has kept several items in its collections that directly relate to the ancestors as well as the heirs of Ludolf III.von Dassel. The tapestry can at last be counted amongst the collections of the most significant museum institution in Slovakia and the published research has enabled us to learn details about its owners in present day Germany.
© 2012, Pamiatkový úrad SR, Cesta na Červený most 6, 814 06 Bratislava, tel.: 02/20464111, centrálna e-mail adresa:
Pridať do obľúbených  |  Správca obsahu  |  Technická podpora  |  Právne informácie  |  RSS  |  RSS UT  |  O web sídle  |  Vyhlásenie o prístupnosti