Bořivoj Rak

* 1932

  • “When it relocated, the scaffolding was removed, the Transfera organization disbanded, the church was standing there with a damaged roof and it was leaking for four and a half year. And nothing was being done about it. The tower was not being built, nothing. Then the article called The most expensive pigeon loft in the world appeared in the Spiegl newspapers in Germany. And it was about the church. Because there really were hundreds of pigeons. When we renovated it then, there were dozens of nests in the vault.” - “And why did it take so much time after it? Why did it not continue?” - “Because it was a church. They were arguing what to do with it then.” - “So, they relocated it famously...” - “There can no longer be a church. That is why they wanted to demolish it. That is why they demolished all of the five churches. And they also demolished the oldest one - Church of Saint Wenceslas. They even sent people there to say that it did not have any historical value. That it was young, Baroque, Renaissance but it was Romanesque and rebuilt in the Gothic style. And it was the oldest church in Most, Church of Saint Wenceslas. So, there could not be any churches in the new Most.”

  • „Do you remember the time when Stalin Monument in Letná was built?” “Well, of course. We mocked it with my family. We sang and I was singing once and they wanted to beat me up. I came up with: ‘On Letná Plain, the masters built us The Statue of Liberty, there are stairs leading towards it. There are stairs leading towards it. Stars toward it!‘ Like the steps towards freedom before I gain it. I was once singing it in a pub and two men were furious with me. But I was there with friends, so they solved it.”

  • “It was a square plot of land. There was a sunken lane bellow it that led to Břevnov and that one that led to Vypich. You could see Military hospital on the horizon. The plot of land had dimensions of, you could say, a football pitch. We had a pitch there, but not quite a football one. There was also a plot where we built an igloo in winter. And the clubroom itself was a square building with an area made of stone near a fence wall and Mrs. Žavůrková lived there. She had there a bedroom, a kitchen and a bathroom. And there was also a hall where we used to play ping-pong. Every unit, because there were about four or five units, had there a table, chairs, benches and a place on the wall. There was a wooden totem or some objects or paintings. It changed. And because every one of us was different, it was diverse. It was not a unified hall and unified painting. But it has a united spirit – a scout one.”

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    Unhošť, 13.04.2019

    délka: 03:00:03
    nahrávka pořízena v rámci projektu Stories of 20th Century
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You forbid me to do my work, so I will repair saints

Bořivoj Rak, school years
Bořivoj Rak, school years
zdroj: archiv pamětníka

Bořivoj Rak was born on the 17th of August 1932 as the fifth child of a painter Josef Rak and Terezie Raková. He grew up in Břevnov and joined a boy scout Legio Angelica unit thanks to his three older brothers. He attended several of their camps after the war. Having finished elementary school Na Marjánce he started to study at State Central School of Housing Industry and he then continued at Higher School of Housing Industry. He passed entrance exams for the Academy of Arts, Architecture, and Design (UMPRUM) but was not admitted as a son of self-employed person and a Russian legionnaire. Having finished his military service, he applied for admission to Sculpture and was successful this time - probably at pedagogic Václav Markup´s intercession. He successfully studied at the Academy of Arts, Architecture, and Design (UMPRUM) under Josef Wagner and he graduated under prof. Jan Kavan. He worked in the Pilsen Region in cooperation with architects until 1969 but he lived with his wife and son in Prague in Letná. He became an undesirable person because of his anti-communist attitude during the time of normalization and could not do his job. He got to do restoration thanks to his meeting with architect Jiří Hrůza and it became his main profession for the rest of his life and he became respected in his new profession for his maintenance of Matthias B. Braun´s works of art. He worked in Klášterec nad Ohří, Duchcov, Most or in Osek. He cooperated on the project of the relocation of the Church of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary. Together with Jiří Novák he participated in the creation of the copy of the sculpture group representing Dream of Saint Lutgardis by Braun that is installed on the twelfth pillar of the Charles Bridge. He also restored with care the relief of the tympanum of the northern portal of the Church of Our Lady before Týn in Prague. He also dedicated his time to making his original sculptures the whole time. For instance, he created a sculpture group representing Annunciation which is now a part of the church in the town of Mariánská Týnice in the north area of Pilsen. He lived in Most since 1970s and he got married for the second time and raised a daughter there. A retrospective exhibition was organized for him at the occasion of his eightieth birthday. He lived in Unhošť during the time of shooting of the interview (in 2019).