The Czech National Library has purchased a prayer book from 1655 at an
auction in London. The price was 148,000 crowns (approximately 5,700
euros), the National Library’s spokeswoman, Irena Maňáková, told the
Czech News Agency on Tuesday.
The valuable manuscript, which also served as a diary, belonged to Anna Kateřina Karbanová from Volšany, a daughter of a Prague noble man and city councillor.
For listeners around the world, Rob Cameron has, as the BBC’s correspondent in the city, been the voice of Prague for many years. The London-born journalist, who moved here in 1993, is a former colleague of ours at Radio Prague. He is also my own oldest friend in the Czech Republic. Our tour of “Rob Cameron’s Prague” starts in the city’s Nusle district, just across the street from the Na Fidlovačce theatre by the Botič river.
Over the past year and half, the Czech National Library has been carrying out a unique research project documenting books confiscated or dispossessed and brought to Czechoslovakia during World War II or shortly afterwards. Many of the books got lost, while others lay scattered in the archives all over the country for decades. Now, the National Library has uncovered at least part of the collection to map the books’ history and trace their original owners.
An appeals court has upheld an earlier ruling ordering the Czech National Library to pay compensation to an architecture studio which argued that a design by the late Jan Kaplický should not have won a tender to build a new building for the institution. According to the court, the National Library will have to pay HŠH architecti 1.6 million crowns (the difference in financial rewards for third and second place finishers) for choosing Mr Kaplický’s design even though it did not meet the requirements of the competition in 2007. The latter’s futuristic design, nicknamed “the Blob”, divided public opinion and was never built. Overall, the sum to be paid out, with interest and legal fees, totals almost 3 million crowns.
The Czech National Library has been ordered to pay compensation to an architecture studio that argued a design by the late Jan Kaplický should not have won a tender to build a new building for the institution. A court ordered that the National Library pay HŠH architecti CZK 2.9 million for choosing Mr. Kaplický’s design even though it did not meet the requirements of the competition in 2007. The latter’s futuristic design, nicknamed “the Blob”, divided opinion and in the end was never built. The National Library may appeal Tuesday’s verdict.
The Vysehrad Codex, a latin illuminated manuscript, which is regarded as one of the most valuable historical treasures in the Czech Republic, has gone on display in Prague. The manuscript, written in 1085 to mark the coronation of the first Czech king, Vratislav II, is temporarily installed in the Mirror Chapel at Prague's Clementinum. The Vysehrad Codex is listed as a national cultural heritage and was last displayed to the public in 1969. Security at Clementinum has been tightened due to the immense value of the manuscript.
An exhibition that opened on Thursday at Prague’s National Library highlights samizdat books and magazines produced in Czechoslovakia in the 1970s and 1980s. Entitled Samizdat: The Creative Power of Resistance, the show has been organised in conjunction with Libri prohibiti, a privately held library that possesses some 13,000 books produced illicitly in Czechoslovakia under communism. The exhibition is due to run at the Clementinum until April 18.
The widow of architect Jan Kaplický has discussed the building of one of his designs with the mayor of Prague 8, Lidovky.cz reported. The large, futuristic structure, originally conceived as a new National Library building to stand on Letná Plain and nicknamed the Blob, could be built on the city’s Rohanský Island, under a proposal from Culture Minister Daniel Herman backed by a wealthy developer. After a meeting with Prague 8 mayor Jiří Janků, Eliška Kaplický said she liked the idea of the project being realised on Rohanský Island, in part because it is by Karlín, an area that has seen a lot of new architecture in recent years.
Standing in the centre of the Clementinum – if you can locate such a thing in the labyrinth – you are surrounded by around a millennium of history and millions of volumes of books inside one of the most beautifully preserved masterpieces of Baroque art the city of Prague has to offer. This is the seat of the Czech National Library and the whispering and rustling that echoes through its grand halls add perfectly to its natural mysteriousness.
An exhibition focused on the Kralice Bible, the first complete Czech language translation of the book, has begun at the National Library’s Clementinum building in Prague. The show is timed to coincide with the 400th anniversary of the last publication of the Kralice Bible prior to the Battle of White Mountain. It includes earlier translations of the Bible in Czech and valuable documents that have not previously been displayed publicly.