I had to finish the monument because of the children who were murdered, and because of my wife Marie
Jiří Hamp was born on the 10th of 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. While he received a degree from Faculty of Mechanical Engineering at Czech Technical University in Prague, in 1960, he finished an arts school. Thus, Jiří began 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 no recognition, for the communist authorities didn’t wish for the memorial to come to life. While working, Marie Uchytilová ended up exhausted, and eventually died of a heart attack on the 16th of November, 1989, one day before the outbreak of the revolution which toppled the communist regime. Jiří Hampl carried on and set out to finish her work. He spent years funding money, and in the end, finished the memorial in 2000. Jiří donated it free of charge to the village of Lidice. The memorial has won acclaim all over the world.