annual report 2019


Collecting Activities for the National Museum

In 2019, the Central Advisory Board for the Collecting Activities of the National Museum (CABCA NM) discussed 104 proposals for the purchase of collection items or sets of items in the total proposed amount of approx. CZK 53 million . 

In terms of content, the purchase of all 104 proposed acquisitions was approved, but due to the limited resources of the National Museum, it was not possible to realize all purchases, and therefore some were postponed to 2020.


Number of items approved by the CABCA NM in 2018

Total cost

Number of purchased items in 2019

Total cost

from National Museum funds*


3,837,674 CZK


2,691,033 CZK

from ISO/C** subsidies


13,986,230 CZK


4,399,500 CZK

Donation from the Josef, Marie and Zdeňka Hlávková Foundation


100,000 CZK


100,000 CZK

from projects or other sources


51,400 CZK


51,400 CZK

New exhibitions***


35,249,012 CZK


32,047,972 CZK


*                                             The purchase of 6 acquisitions in the total value of CZK 970,504 was postponed to 2020, those were 4 items of the Natural History Museum, 1 item of the Náprstek Museum and 1 item of the Historical Museum. In case of 1 acquisition of the Czech Museum of Music, part of the set of items from the Bedřich Smetana family was purchased in 2019 for CZK 234,859, the purchase of the remaining part of the set was postponed to 2020.

**                                           The grant application for the acquisitions of the Náprstek Museum approved in 2018 for CZK 2,622,200 and submitted only in 2019 was approved and the NM received a subsidy of CZK 2,622,000, however, this amount is not included in the table. NM’s participation in this purchase amounted to CZK 200. Of the total number of items, 5 were not realized in 2019. In case of 3 items, the application was or will be submitted in 2020 (Collection of Roman provincial coins for a reduced price of CZK 2,114,740, A set of handwritten prayer books from the 18th and 19th centuries from the collection of Rudolf Hlava for CZK 1,187,700 and Fragment of a cubic statue of Egypt, 18th dynasty, 15th century BC for CZK 450,000). 1 item was not realized due to doubts about the authenticity of the item (it was Violoncello Giuseppe Rossi for CZK 900,000) and 1 item was not realized, as it was found that it is not a priority purchase (Notaphilic and numismatic collections from the estate of Josef Švestka in the amount of CZK 3,153,000).

***                         Of the total number of items, 3 were not realized, namely the purchase of Marble Stele, Thymiaterion and Terracotta Antefix for the Historical Museum in the total value of EUR 45,000.


The collection of the estate of Hana and Edvard Beneš and the 1st part of the ethnographic collection of Mnislav Zelený in the amount of CZK 1,599,500 were purchased for the Historical Museum from the subsidy program of the Ministry of Culture ISO/C.

In 2019, most proposals for acquisitions were financed from the budget of the subsidy for the construction of new permanent exhibitions of the NM, where these funds for acquisitions were drawn by the Natural History and Historical Museums. 

From the donation of the Josef, Marie and Zdeňka Hlávková Foundation, a set of historical weapons from North Africa, Algeria and Morocco from the 19th century was purchased in 2019 for the collections of the Náprstek Museum of the National Museum. Purchases financed from projects or other sources took place only in Historical museum and it was the purchase of 4 volumes of old prints, illustrated magic books of German provenance from the years 1766 - 1804 from the donation of Mrs. Högrová for CZK 51,400.

Newly acquired equipment and restoration from the ISO/D subsidy

In the calendar year 2019, packaging material was purchased from the program of the Ministry of Culture ISO/D for the Natural History Museum, namely for the paleontological and mineralogical sub-collection, and archiving boards, envelopes and boxes for storing non-musical parts of personal collections were purchased for the Czech Museum of Music. A universal sandblasting machine was purchased for the Historical Museum.

At the same time, the third part of the set of historical royal portraits of the Habsburgs from the collections of the Historical Museum was renovated as part of the ISO/D subsidy.


In 2019, the collection of the National Museum was being inventoried in two concurrent cycles - the original cycle I, which began in 2003; and cycle II, which began in 2015, in which small-scale sub-collections, whose inventory was already finished in cycle I, were inventoried. In 2019, 166,890 items were inventoried in the first inventory cycle (4.79 % of the National Museum’s collection) and 10,846 items in the second inventory cycle (0.31 % of the National Museum’s collection). In total, 177,736 collection items were inventoried in both inventory cycles, i.e. 5.15 % of the whole collection of the National Museum.

General revision

General revisions prescribed by the internal regulations of the National Museum continued in 2019.

The general revision in the Historical Museum of the NM, namely in the Department of Czech History, took place in the collections of textiles, toys, paintings and graphics.  Due to the workload of the curators due to the preparation of new exhibitions, revisions were suspended in the middle of the year and continued only in the toy collection. In 2020, the general revision will continue in other collections.

Directorate-General order No. 7/2017 prescribed an in-depth inspection in the Natural History Museum of the National Museum at the Mineralogy Department, in the sub-collection 3 - “mineralogy”, which continued in 2019. During the year, four random inspections took place, and they will continue in the following year.