NEWS: 09.06.20 – However, the Apple Museum is closed, not because of the global pandemic surrounding the novel coronavirus (which has caused many museums around the world to close due to social distance demands), but a fate far worse: the theft of the museum’s artifacts.
The Apple Museum, located in Prague (the capital of the Czech Republic), had until now the world’s largest private collection of Apple artifacts from the Cupertino, California-based company. In a post on the museum’s website – the specific date it was posted is currently unknown – visitors are greeted with a gloomy message from the museum’s curators.
The message posted on the museum’s website reads as follows:
“The exhibition is closed. Unfortunately, the largest private collection of Apple, NeXT and Pixar products has been stolen by the head of the Art 21 Foundation. We apologize for the inconvenience and thank you for your understanding and support. “
A Google search for the foundation points to many results – most refer to it as a PBS TV series – including a Wikipedia entry describing Art 21 as founded in 1997 to make contemporary art more accessible to the public, as well as to document 21st century art and artists (from the artists’ own perspective), with their overall goal of encouraging creativity and raising the profile of major players in the world of contemporary art. However, it is unclear whether this non-profit organization based in the United States is the same group whose founder has been accused of stealing the Apple Museum’s private collection in the Czech Republic.
Business Insider, in a semi-related story, reported earlier this year in April that the Apple Museum had been temporarily closed since March due to the global pandemic and hoped to reopen soon (a fact currently noted on the museum’s website).
The primary focus of the story was the news that the Apple Museum was building its own interactive replica of the garage – a site in Los Altos, California that in October 2013 was designated a historic landmark – where Apple’s late co-founder, Steve Jobs, co-founded the company on April 1, 1976. with co-founder, Steve Wozniak, with the article that was published 44 years before Apple was founded. The exclusion from Business Insider did not mention any theft of the private collection at the time.
Apple Museum CEO Irene Jiroušková told Business Insider that augmented reality technology will be incorporated into the new exhibit to enable visitor interaction when it opens, but given the incident, it is unknown if the project will be completed as planned with the entire exhibit. is currently closed.
In December 2015, Ars Technica reported that a mysterious collector had recently opened the world’s largest private collection of Apple products. The museum is housed in three buildings in the Old Town of Prague, and has an extensive list of 472 exhibits on display, including almost all the products ever built by the company, as well as Jobs’ business cards from his time at NeXT and Pixar.
In addition to the exhibits on display, Ars Technica reported at the time that a raw vegan café was under construction (which has since opened, but it is unknown if it is currently in operation due to the global pandemic and the closure of the exhibit). The restaurant, called “Steven’s Food”, reportedly serves dishes that were enjoyed by the late Apple co-founder himself.
According to Ars Technica, Apple does not have an official museum for its products, although it used to be one (place unspecified) that Jobs closed shortly after he returned to the company in 1997.
Before the global pandemic – and the theft of the entire private collection that resulted in the closure of the exhibition – the entrance cost visitors an entrance fee, but according to the museum, all proceeds were donated to charity. In the meantime, you can take a virtual 3D tour of the Apple Museum while it is currently closed (and its future operation is now in doubt, you can visit the museum’s official website at: www.applemuseum360.com/.
A note from the author: the curators of the Apple Museum were contacted by this site for further details on the theft of the museum’s private collection, but MacPrices did not receive an immediate response prior to the publication of this story (a separate article will be published in this column at a later date, provided that a response is received from the museum).