After six weeks of weather and logistical delays, the National Czech and Slovak Museum in Cedar Rapids will finally be moved to higher ground today. The building was damaged by the floods in 2008 and will be slowly wheeled to its new home, some 400 feet away from the Cedar River. Museum C.E.O. Gail Naughton says it will be an emotional moment for Cedar Rapids.
“Who would have thought, I mean, three years ago we were all facing such massive destruction. And here we are…we’re rolling down the river, literally,” Naughton says. Naughton says the move is a beacon of hope to communities hit by natural disasters this spring.
“Our heart just breaks for the people and what they are going through. You can come back, you can. There’s hope,” Naughton says, “Plan for the future, look for the opportunities that come out of the crisis. We’re a sign that that can happen and everyone out there can do that too.”
The building and 20% of its collection were damaged in the 2008 flood. Thousands of onlookers are expected to turn out to watch the museum move.