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Prague has new guidelines on how and where to place works of art

Prague has new rules aimed at showing how to conceptually approach the placement of artwork in the city. This unique document follows on the Prague Public Space Design Manual published in 2014. Both documents were developed by the Prague Institute of Planning and Development (IPR).

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The Prague Public Space Design Manual is being gradually expanded with plug-ins that provide greater detail on particular topics. The first such plug-in is titled Artwork in Prague's Public Spaces, a document devoted to the placement of works of art in the city.

“The placement of artwork in public spaces is a long-running issue in many cities, including Prague. On one hand, valuable works are not given enough opportunities, on the other, public space is often blithely allocated to works of poor quality. I believe that we now have an excellent tool that will help increase the cultural capital of the city and public spaces in general,” explains Hana Třeštíková, City Councilor for Culture, Historical Preservation, Exhibitions and Tourism.

One reason for poor installations is the process of acquiring artworks. The document therefore establishes a transparent process for acquiring artwork, deciding on its placement, installation and subsequent maintenance.

We're not trying to instruct artists on how to create a good sculpture. But we now know what steps should be taken if we want to support, spread and promote quality, publicly-accessible art. Artwork should not be installed randomly, its placement should enhance the given space,” says Ondřej Boháč, Director of IPR.

The document provides guidelines for monuments, interactive works, artistic architectural elements and urban design, as well as temporary installations and festivals. Monuments and other commemorative works, in particular, require a consistent approach in terms of context, the quality of work, and longevity.

The document was developed by the Prague Institute of Planning and Development in cooperation with a group of experts in fine arts and architecture, from galleries and universities, independent curators, theoreticians, artists, architects and other related professions.

Like the Manual, the plug-in should serve as a key resource for the city, city districts, and other players in the process of placing artwork in public spaces. It can be downloaded from the Prague Public Space Design Manual website:  manual.iprpraha.cz

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