Our family's return to Czechoslovakia after the 1989 Velvet Revolution was inspired by the seismic world events of that remarkable November.
The call of our lost heritage was urgent and compelling, as was the chance to participate directly in the historic changes taking place in what had been our ancestral home for nearly seven centuries. This was made possible in part by the passage of a series of restitution laws under the inspired leadership of President Vaclav Havel soon after our return in 1990.
Since that moment, we have been fully committed to our dual goals: to restore the family's cultural heritage through the restitution process (an effort now successfully complete) and to make the Lobkowicz Collections and properties available for public enjoyment and scholarly enrichment.
The injustices endured by the confiscations under the Nazi and communist regimes are behind us. We feel very strongly that our family owes future generations our uncompromising efforts to carry out our mission. From the very beginning, we have characterized our role as managers and custodians of the Collections, establishing non-profit entities to enhance our efforts. As managers, we created concepts, business plans and organizational structures to establish physical and financial foundations for support. As custodians, we developed programing and exhibitions, membership programs and friends organizations to be our pillars in all aspects of educational and cultural outreach.
The Lobkowicz Library and Study Center at Nelahozeves Castle is the culmination of our efforts over the last quarter century. During that time, we have been consolidating a permanent home in Bohemia, not only for our family, but also for a vast and endangered cultural heritage. Building state of the art facilities for the Collections will not only preserve them, but enable them to be comprehensively studied by students, scholars and the wider world, while guaranteeing their lasting legacy for many centuries to come.
The challenges remaining are many, but for the first time in our family's history, we feel we have an unprecedented, historical opportunity. Rather than just preserving, we are actively transforming the Collections into an expanded, dynamic and contextual cultural heritage. Through creative stewardship, spirited public-private partnerships and visionary benefactors, we believe we can deliver a truly inspiring connection and lasting contribution to world culture and a civil society.