Achievements in the Czech Republic 2004-2009
In the Czech Republic, the EEA and Norway Grants have significantly reinforced cultural heritage preservation and saved many historical monuments, artefacts and documents from irreparable decay. Over 40% of the funding was allocated to cultural heritage, more than in any other country. Example projects are the restoration of the Rajhrad Benedictine Abbey in Moravia, renovation of the stucco and fresco decorations of the Basilica of the Visitation of the Virgin Mary in Prague, the erection of ten replicas of old rural buildings in the Wallachian Open Air Museum, and the digitisation of historical manuscripts in the Municipal Library of Prague.
The Grants have contributed to the conservation of 350 000 historical items, the digitisation of 3 million items, and to making 26 cultural heritage sites available to the public. Within healthandchildcare, many projects focused on improving facilities in kindergartens, schools and playgrounds, and several nursery and primary schools have been modernised in human resource development projects. The General University Hospital in Prague created a complex care centre for newborns and infants at risk, which will contribute to reducing the morbidity and mortality of newborns in the Czech Republic. All in all, it was expected that 60 000 additional patients could be treated annually thanks to projects funded by Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway.
The NGO Fund has provided financial support to civil society projects focusing on human rights and multiculturalism, support for disadvantaged children and young people, and environmental protection. A number of environmental projects were implemented within areas such as water and forest management, air-pollution monitoring and biodiversity. Other projects assisted the Czech Republic in meeting Schengen requirements and combating cross-border crime.
Nineteen projects involved partnerships between Czech and Norwegian entities, mainly within the fields of academic research and conservation of European cultural heritage. The Czech National Gallery in Prague cooperated with the Norwegian Directorate of Cultural Heritage in a project to install a new security system to safeguard its works of art. All eight National Gallery buildings are now connected to a central security system, ensuring that the valuable collections remain safe.