Day 22, Monday 4 May 1998, Volary to Prachatice - The Mayor of the town of Volary, together with his wife, created a museum devoted to the women who came to be buried in Volary. It is housed in a tiny brown building, possibly the smallest museum I have ever seen. The interior consists of one small room in which there are a few vitrines filled with personal affects and a few photographs of individual women, half clothed and nearly starved, taken in a makeshift hospital after the liberation. There are no sheets on the hospital beds. None of the women pictured in those photographs lived more than a few days. Then, on the wall, there is a large photograph, taken surreptitiously by an unknown photographer. It is a grainy, black and white reproduction of these women huddled together, trudging down the road. None of the women who survived the march have been able to identify where or when it might have been taken. I had just walked that 225 miles from Helmbrechts and I could not identify its location either. It is as though the photograph had not been taken in real space and time. The perfect documentary lie. The women appear as an indistinguishable mass, all unidentifiable. The only distinct bodies are those of the guards standing several paces back.




4 May 1998 - A report appeared in The New York Times stating that the painting "The Sèvres Road" by the 19th Century French painter Camille Corot, had been stolen from the Louvre in Paris early in the afternoon on May 3rd. The canvas, which measures 13.4 x 19.3 inches, was cut from its frame. The police closed the museum as soon as one of the guards reported the theft and all departing visitors were searched. Corot, who died in 1875 is known as a master of landscape painting.


Helmbrechts Walk, 1998-2003
Day 22, Monday 4 May 1998, Volary to Prachatice
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