Prague kicks off repairs of its iconic 19th century carousel

PRAGUE (AP) " Prague's historic carousel that gave joy to generations for more than a century is set to return to its former glory.

Placed at the Letna Park in 1894, two years after it was built, it would be hard to find a local who had not sat in the saddle on one of its iconic model horses covered with real horse hides.

Originally the merry-go-round, housed within a purpose-built building, was rotated by manpower, with an electric engine replacing that in the 1930s.

The days of the neo-Renaissance structure considered the oldest functioning of its kind in Europe seemed to be numbered a decade ago due to its poor condition.

But the National Technical Museum that acquired it in 2004 from its private owners has finally secured enough money, partly thanks to public donations, to finance a major renovation project, which kicked off this week.

Museum director Karel Ksandr expects the carousel to return its former beauty and function next year. Ksandr said it will open only on weekends and holidays to ensure it will be fully functional for another century.

This story has been automatically published from the Associated Press wire which uses US spellings

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