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Historical Treasures Return Home

The Embassy of the Czech Republic transferred historical artifacts once belonging to late Czechoslovak President Edvard Beneš and First Lady Hana Benešová to the National Museum of the Czech Republic. 

The items contained largely significant pieces, such as the pen used by Dr. Edvard Beneš, on behalf of the then Czechoslovak Republic in his capacity as Minister of Foreign Affairs, to sign the Versailles Treaty on June 28, 1919. Further included were beautifully preserved ivory letter openers with Dr. Beneš’ signatures commemorating the  Versailles Treaty of June 28, 1919, the Treaty of St. Germain-en-Laye of September 10, 1919, and the Treaty of Neuilly of November 27, 1919.

Additionally, the President’s drafted speeches, hand-written notes, and even the First Lady’s diplomatic passports filled with multiple foreign countries’ visas and stamps of entry during the inter-war and WWII period, carrying enormous historical value and interest, were presented.

The National Museum also received the First Family’s personal records consisting of the President’s and First Lady’s original marriage certificate and the First Lady’s school records. Personal items included clothing, such as the First Lady’s elegant gala dresses, exquisite mink and fox furs, magnificent hats and gloves, scarves, and a gorgeous hand-made national costume of the time. Special relics of appreciation included the First Family’s tennis rackets and even the First Lady’s wooden skis with ski poles made of bamboo!

Due to Covid-19 travel restrictions, the National Museum was unable to collect the items from relatives of the former First Family residing in the United States in person. The Czech Embassy, located in Washington, DC, was however able to assist with the transfer of these noteworthy items back to Prague into the care and further study of the Museum.

The Embassy of the Czech Republic had previously honored the memory of late Czechoslovak President Edvard Beneš and First Lady Hana Benešová in May 2019, and collaborated on bringing their personal belongings to the National Museum in Prague.