Martin, December 2 (TASR) – Up to 60 gravestones at the National Cemetery in Martin (Zilina region) were damaged by a windstorm, which uprooted several trees on the site early on Friday, Martin Mayor and Parliamentary Vice-chairman Andrej Hrnciar reported later in the day.
“We’re examining the extent of the damage. National cultural monuments have also been damaged, including the grave of [19th/20th century writer and politician] Svetozar Hurban Vajansky. Due to safety reasons, the National Cemetery has been closed,” said Hrnciar, adding that an extraordinary commission will be convened on Monday to deal with the situation.
“No heavy equipment can access the National Cemetery, so everything will have to be done manually and it will obviously take some time. Nevertheless, we’ll do everything possible to make the National Cemetery accessible to the public again as soon as possible,” added Hrnciar.
As many as 400 national personages are buried at the National Cemetery, which was founded in the late 18th century as a municipal cemetery for the town of Martin. With Martin becoming a centre of Slovak national culture in the 19th century, several national revivalists were buried at the local cemetery, which eventually gained national significance. It was declared a site of national cultural heritage in 1967.