A European Parliament building in Strasbourg has been named after the late Czech president, dissident and playwright Václav Havel. A bronze bust of the first Czech president was unveiled at the entrance to the building in the presence of Havel’s wife Dagmar and the head of the European Parliament Antonio Tajani. Visitors were also able to view an exhibition of photos of Václav Havel taken by Tomki Němec. The main conference room in the building is furnished with a tapestry by Czech artist Petr Sís.
The renowned Czech sculptor Olbram Zoubek died on Thursday at the age of 91. The news was confirmed by the head of the National Film Archive Michal Bregant. Zoubek is known for numerous important works, including a memorial to the victims of the communist regime at Prague's Újezd. In 1969, Mr Zoubek cast the death mask of student Jan Palach, who used self-immolation to protest against the Soviet-led invasion of Czechoslovakia.
As of Wednesday, visitors to Prague have been able to admire a monumental statue by Turner Prize winner Tony Cragg. The bronze object is installed at Náměstí Republiky square in the centre of the city as part of the annual summer festival called Sculpture Line. In all, 22 works by Czech and foreign artists are on view all around the city throughout the summer months.
Prague’s Pink Tank, a symbol of the fall of communism in the country, has been installed at Komenský’s Square in Brno, as part of an exhibition organised by the Moravian Gallery. The tank, originally a monument to Soviet tank crews who liberated the city in 1945, was painted pink by the artist David Černý in 1991, and soon thereafter taken to a military museum outside Prague. On Thursday, the pink tank was put on display in Brno to be featured in an exhibition called Tribes 90, curated by Artist Vladimir 518.
Chinese conceptual artist and political activist Ai Weiwei, 59, will return to the Czech Republic in March after a year to display his new artifact created exclusively for the National Gallery in Prague. The artist’s biggest sculpture ever reflects his concern about the refugee crisis. Called "Law of the Journey", the 70-metre-long (230-foot-long) inflatable boat with 258 oversize refugee figures will be shown from March 16 through the rest of the year.
Two new sculptures of the popular Czech cartoon character Maxipes Fík (Fík the Maxi-Dog) have been added to the embankment on the Ohře River in Kadaň near Chomutov, an area where the late creator of the character, Rudulf Čechura, was born. Originally, only one entry was to have been chosen but the town hall was impressed by both. One of the sculptures is from metal, the other, from sandstone; the latter includes the character Ája, the large dog’s close friend. Maxipes Fík is known for recounting incredible dreams to the little girl, which include adventures escaping in a harvester or giving Indian scouts the slip in the days of the Wild West.
Organisers in charge of the Lidice Memorial, a bronze monument to the children of Lidice - war victims from the Czech village razed by the Nazis in WWII as reprisal for the assassination of acting Reichsprotektor Reinhard Heydrich - have been ordered to add the name of sculptor Jiří Hampl to a plaque attributing the work solely to his late wife. The academic sculptor Marie Uchytilová who died in 1989 is credited with the design but her husband contributed to the work's realisation in bronze. František Vyskočil, a representative of the Lidice Memorial organisation, maintains the work was Mrs Uchytilová's alone; he says an expert assessment should determine the nature of the contribution by her husband and has recommended that the matter be taken before the country's Supreme Court.
A more then 30-strong delegation from the Czech Republic flew to Roma Saturday to present a statue of Czech patron saint Anežka to the Vatican. The delegation included Minister of Culture Daniel Herman. The statue will be placed in the crypt of St Peter’s Basilica. The donation was first mooted five years ago on the 800th anniversary of the saint’s presumed birth. She was canonised in November 1989. The 160 cm high modern statue is the work of students from the Hořice school of sculpture.
Researchers say they are delighted by the initial results of a scan of one of the Czech Republic’s archaeological treasures, the ceramic statuette of a naked woman known as the Venus of Dolní Věstonice. The scan produced around 8 gigabytes of data and analysis of the first findings shows significant impurities in the composition of the fired clay in the head and legs, the Moravian Museum’s Petr Neruda said in a press conference on Friday. The reasons for this are not yet known. Analysis of the findings of the scan should continue until the end of the year when the first definitive results should be available. The statue is reckoned to be up to 29,000 years old. It was found during excavations in 1925but its significance was only slowly appreciated.