The monument in memory of Czechoslovak WWII pilots in the British Royal Air Force (RAF), which is opposed by heritage protectors, was unveiled in a park in Prague centre, Tuesday, June 17, 2014. The two-metre bronze statue of a winged lion, made by British sculptor Colin Spofforth, stands on a concrete plinth. It was donated by the British community living in the Czech Republic. (AP Photo/CTK, Vit Simanek) SLOVAKIA OUT

Britons honor Czechoslovaks who fought for RAF

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PRAGUE (AP) -- A memorial honoring 2,500 Czechoslovakians who fought against Nazi Germany in Britain's air force has been unveiled in Prague.

The two-meter (6-foot-6) bronze statue of a winged lion by Colin Spofforth is placed in a park in the central and picturesque Little Quarter. It was unveiled Tuesday by Nicholas Soames, a grandson of Britain's wartime Prime Minister Winston Churchill.

Corporate and individual sponsors from the British expatriate community donated 100,000 pounds ($170,000) for the project.

The soldiers, including 88 respected pilots, fled Nazi-occupied Czechoslovakia to join the Royal Air Force. They participated in the Battle of Britain in World War II. Some 500 died.

Authorities approved the project despite a claim by the National Heritage Institute that its location wasn't suitable, saying another monument is already in the small park.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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