The Czech Republic’s Museum of Romani Culture has launched an international contest for a new CZK 31.5 million memorial at the Lety concentration camp in Bohemia
The two-stage anonymous competitions seeks proposals for a landmark new monument and commemorative landscape on the grounds of the 7.1-hectare former prison where hundreds of Roma and Sinti people were interned before Being murdered or sent to Auschwitz during the Second World War.
The Lety u Písku contest will select an overall concept for the rural site around 70 kilometres south of Prague which was transformed into a large pig farm in the 1970s and recently purchased by the Czech government. The farm will be cleared but concepts must integrate an existing memorial created by Czech artist Zdeněk Hůla during the 1990s.
According to the brief: ‘The memorial is, and must continue to be, a place of honour to the memory of the victims of the Lety camp, the victims of Holocaust of the Roma and Sinti, a place of reverence and silent contemplation, an authentic place of remembrance for suffering.
‘The memorial will become a place that will stimulate discussion not only on the evaluation of the past, but it will also reflect on the present situation at the society. It will raise interest in the topics such as discrimination against minorities, exclusion from the society and the denial of the Holocaust, and the topic of human rights in general, freedom, and coexistence.’
During the German occupation of Czechoslovakia, the Lety concentration camp received around 1,308 Romani children, men and women. It is estimated 327 people died there and a further 500 were deported to Auschwitz in neighbouring Poland. In total, 90 per cent of all Bohemian and Moravian people Romani people were murdered during the conflict.
The latest landscape and architecture competition will select a ’sustainable and self-sustaining’ design to commemorate the lives lost in the area. The rural site currently features the abandoned sheds of a former pig farm which will be cleared to make way for the memorial and an existing monument created in the 1990s.
The contest comes seven years after a memorial to Sinti and Roma victims of National Socialism by Israeli sculptor Dani Karavan opened in Berlin. Proposals for the Lety site must feature a visitor centre, multi-functional space for up to 40 people, toilets and offices for up to eight staff. New paths, vehicle access routes and car parking will also be required.
Initial applications may include up to two A1-sized boards featuring a site pland, floor plans, views, sections, and visualizations along with cost estimated and a short, written description of the proposal in either English or Czech. Seven shortlisted teams will be invited to further develop their designs and submit four A1 graphical boards.
Concepts will be judged on their architectural and artistic quality, their response to the competition theme, their respect for the culture of Czech Roma and Sinti, and the quality of the proposed landscape setting.
Judges will include Martin Martínek from the Ministry of Culture of the Czech Republic; the co-founder the Museum of Romani Culture, Jana Horváthová; and Igor Marko of London-based studio Marko & Placemakers.
The overall winner – to be announced in April or May – will receive a CZK 150,000 prize while a second prize of CZK 120,000 and third prize of 90,000 will also be awarded and a further CZK 160,000 will be shared among the remaining finalists.
The deadline for applications is 3pm local time on 17 January.
How to apply
View the contract notice for more information
Pavel Vacek – Vesely
Museum of Romani Culture
Tel: +420 545571798