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Jiří Hampl (1929) - Biography

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I had to finish the monument because of the children who were murdered and because of my wife Marie

Jiří Hamp was born on 10 September 1929 in Prague. He is a son of the former owner of the construction company Stako. In the course of post-1948 expropriation the enterprise was nationalized. He graduated from Faculty of Mechanical Engineering, Czech Technical University in Prague. In 1960 he finished an arts school and started making a living as a sculptor, painter and designer. He worked side by side with his wife, the sculptor Marie Uchytilová. Their life-long work is the vast sculpture in memory of children victims of WW II. which they decided to place into the village of Lidice. They started with the memorial which consists of 82 statues of children in 1975. Their work was met with non-recognition, the communist authorities didn't wish for the memorial to come to life. Marie Uchytilová ended up exhausted and eventually died of a heart attack on 16 November 1989, one day before the outbreak of the revolution which toppled the communist regime. Jiří Hampl decided to finish her work. He spent years funding money, and in the end finished the memorial in 2000 and donated it free of charge to the village of Lidice. The memorial won acclaim all over the world.

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