The rescue of a unique blast furnace Barbora is going on in Jince. As the only one in Europe, it remained in existence including the adjacent buildings. Nevertheless, this significant technical monument came within an ace of demolition. Two years ago, it was in such a delipidated state that it was close to collapse. But luckily, the current municipality is not indifferent to the historical bequest of this place. They bought the furnace from a private owner and now they are putting it together step by step.
These days, the reconstruction of the roof is being finalised. The facade repair and new doors and windows will follow. At the same time, a project of the reconstruction of interiors and adjacent buildings is prepared. The total investment will be about 40 million Czech crowns.
“It is not possible to get the donation from the Czech or the European funds. That is why we have registered for the Norwegian funds where the resources for technical monuments are available. To apply for the support, it is necessary to have a Norwegian partner who will assess the project. We succeeded in getting two experts who have world-wide experience with the Norwegian funds. They also took part in two Czech projects – in Prague and Kutna Hora,” Josef Hala, the Jince major, explains.
Per Halvorsen and Björn Kjetil Westum arrived from Norway to assess the purposefulness of the reconstruction. They spent four days in Jince and gave their thumbs up to the project.
„They appreciated the fact that the furnace is located in the place of a long metallurgical tradition and the idea of a regional museum situated here. We took them also to the Mining museum in Pribram. When they saw that we know how to take care of technical monuments, they gave the green light to our project, “the major added.
The Norwegian experts also acknowledged the location of the furnace in the very middle of Europe. They see it as an opportunity to create a base for beginning craftsmen who could learn during the furnace reconstruction how to repair the historical sights.