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30,000 Kilometers

In the 1930s, a Bohemian priest named Josef Baťka (b. 1901 Plzeň - d. 1979 Sušice) voyaged on the steamship Normandie to what his countryman Antonín Dvořák could still, only a little more than a generation before, call a “new world.” Baťka had studied at the Vatican, and travelled widely in Europe and the Near East in his capacity as a papal envoy. In addition, he was also an avid and capable photographer who, using a medium format camera which made negatives 60 mm square, left behind a trove of small square images, neatly filed in the boxes in which they were delivered from the photo finisher.