Photo for illustrative purposes. Credit: KK for Brno Daily.

Month for Faculty initiative to help cope with tragedy

 An initiative called Month for the Faculty will take place on Jan Palach Square in the city centre during January to help the academic community and the public cope with the tragic event when a student shooter killed 14 people in a university building in the square shortly before Christmas.

The main building of the Faculty of arts of Charles University (FF UK), , which was the scene of the horrific act, will remain closed until at least the end of January.

The first event of the initiative will be a candlelight procession on Thursday, January 4, two weeks after the tragedy, the faculty writes on its website.

The Jan Palach Square in the historic centre of Prague will become a meeting place for the entire university community and the public. “The return of academic life to the square and the main building of the Faculty of Arts is an essential part of the process of coming to terms with a tragic event that changed the life of our entire community in a brief moment,” the faculty said. The Month for Faculty initiative is intended to create a place for the gradual rebuilding of the faculty community as well as a space for expressions of respect over the course of four weeks.

The candlelight procession will start at 1:00 p.m. from the Carolinum building, the university’s historical headquarters at Ovocny trh square, to Jan Palach Square, where a commemorative fire will be lit. This fire will be maintained throughout the month. At the same time, the memorial sites will be moved from the Carolinum and the main building of the faculty, where people have brought and are still bringing hundreds of candles and flowers. “The candles from the memorial sites will be used to create a memorial for a later memorial site,” organizers said. Representatives of Charles University student associations took charge of organising the procession.

Other events are being prepared and the organisers will announce them on the emerging website of the initiative. Those interested in getting involved in the preparations can contact via e-mail:

The Faculty of Arts has cancelled lectures and seminars until the end of the winter semester, January 12, and the examination period will take place based on the academic year schedule. The tragic incident at the university building that occurred on December 21 has been the most tragic case of a mass shooting in the country’s history.


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