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Frontpage News 2009 Renovation of the baroque church in Lue started

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Renovation of the baroque church in Lue started

Restoration works begin on the interior of the Virgin Mary Church in Lue, Czech Republic. The inside walls have not been painted for more than 100 years.

The Virgin Mary Church in Chlumek in Lue was built by Jesuits at the end of the 17th century in the style of early baroque. While the exterior walls have undergone reparations, the neglected interior or the church now demands extensive works amounting to €920,000 in costs.

In addition to fresh layers of paint on the interior walls, the church furniture will be restored and the church organ reconstructed. The grant from Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway cover 85% of the costs, and the region of Pardubice and the town of Luze will contribute with the remaining 15%.

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According to Deputy Governor of the Pardubice Region, Roman Línek, the Virgin Mary Church is the most important monument in the region and therefore all the regional representatives voted in favour of providing the needed money for co-financing the project. The Mayor of the city of Lue, Tomas Soukup, said he was already looking forward to the sound of the church organ that had not been heard for many decades.

At the festive mass to mark the start of the works on 23 June, Bishop of Hradec Kralove Dominik Duka emphasised the historically close relationship between the Czech Republic and Norway, especially because of the countries` fate during the Second World War. The Bishop reminded the ones present of the famous Norwegian writer Sigrid Undset, who criticised the Nazi occupation of Czechoslovakia, and read a short excerpt from her trilogy Kristin Lavransdatter.

Kjetil Aasland from the Norwegian Embassy, also present at the mass, mentioned that over the last 5 years, Norway has supported Czech projects under the EEA and Norway Grants with €2.8 million, of which half has been spent on preserving European cultural heritage.

According to church vicar and project manager Josef Hubálek the inspiration for applying for the grant came from a Norway Grants project implemented by the Hamza`s Specialised Sanatorium located in the same city. The newly built swimming pool at the sanatorium, to be used for hydrotherapy for 120 patients each day, opened on 24 June.

Photos: Karel Dvořák