GENERAL Milan Rastislav Štefánik was an astronomer and politician as well as a general in the French Army. He was also well-known for his work in astrophysics and solar physics and served as the minister of war in the first Czechoslovak government. But primarily he was the chief driving force behind the formation of a democratic Slovak nation for the first time in contemporary history, said Foreign Minister Miroslav Lajčák in May 2009 during a two-day international conference on Štefánik’s contributions to Slovakia and Europe. Slovakia will be marking the 130th anniversary of Štefánik’s birth on July 21. He was born in Košariská in 1880. He died in an aeroplane crash in Ivánka pri Dunaji on May 4, 1919 but the actual causes of the accident are still unknown.
The M.R. Štefánik Foundation, in cooperation with the Slovak National Theatre, the Slovak Army and other organisations, has organised a commemorative event for June 25 at the theatre and at the M.R. Štefánik Memorial. The memorial was unveiled one year ago in front of the new Slovak National Theatre (SND).
The programme starts at 15:00 in the theatre with the awarding of commemorative medals to individuals, to representatives of towns and villages, and to organisations that have helped presence the memory of M. R. Štefánik in various ways. After the award ceremony, a book about the M.R. Štefánik Memorial in Bratislava and details about a new French documentary called “Štefánik, Unbelievable Fate” will be introduced. After a musical interlude, the programme within the SND will conclude with the first screening of the French documentary. The entire commemorative event culminates with a wreath-laying ceremony at the M.R. Štefánik Memorial.
The Slovak National Museum will also be marking the 130th anniversary with a new exhibition called Štefánik and Tahiti which will present Štefánik as a worldwide traveller and collector of exotic works of art. The exhibition will be held in the SNM building at Vajanského Nábrežie 2 in Bratislava between July and October.
21. Jun 2010 at 0:00 | Jana Liptáková