The Czech and Slovak Garden of Peace has been unveiled during a ceremony held in the presence of Czech Ambassador to France Petr Drulák, Slovak Ambassador Igor Slobodník, Trustee of the Karel Komárek Family Foundation Jitka Přerovská, and representatives of the Haut-de-France Region and the Pas-de-Calais Prefecture.
The Garden of Peace project is overseen by Art & Jardins – Hauts-de-France, a French organization dedicated to building gardens in Hauts-de-France, near military cemeteries that serve as the last resting place for soldiers who died in the First and Second World Wars. The gardens pay homage to heroes who paid the highest price in bringing peace to France and its people. The purpose is to create tranquil areas conducive to reflection. The project was initiated by the French government during the celebrations and remembrance events held on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the end of WWI. Apart from the recently opened Czech and Slovak garden, gardens have been built in the name of Australia, Belgium, England, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Portugal, New Zealand, and Scotland.
Assistance for the execution of the Czech and Slovak project, including technical support, has been provided by the Karel Komárek Family Foundation. "The foundation's Management Board has decided to support this project because it brings together efforts to honor the legacy of our ancestors and to improve the quality of the public space. These topics are the focus of our long-term endeavors. I very much appreciate being able to serve as a member of the jury that selected the best project from the nine high-quality entries submitted by Czech and Slovak garden architects," said Jitka Přerovská, Trustee of the Karel Komárek Family Foundation.
The authors of the Czech and Slovak Garden of Peace are Lenka Dřevjaná, Zuzana Němečková, and Miroslava Staneková, who won an architecture competition. Their entry was selected by a jury consisting of representatives of the French government, the Czech and Slovak embassies, the Hauts-de-France region, the City of Arras, and Art & Jardins.
"We decided to join the project after visiting an area where a concentration camp was located during wartime. Our impression from the locality resonated with the space that was to be developed in France. The ensuing concept was prepared in response to the tragic historical events as an effort to use the space to create something new, respectful, and at the same time beautiful and positive in nature. Taking part in the project has allowed us to gain new experience and see how the same things we do in the Czech Republic are done abroad. It is an honor and joy to be part of this effort," said Zuzana Němečková from the Project Team responsible for the Czech and Slovak Garden of Peace.