Around 4,000 people watched the re-enactment of an 1866 battle between Austrians and Prussians in Chlum, eastern Bohemia, on Saturday. More than 400 enthusiasts, with 30 horses and 20 cannons, took part in the re-enactment. The original Battle of Chlum occurred on July 3, 1866 between the armies of the Austrian Empire and the Kingdom of Prussia, as part of the Austro-Prussian War.
Czech reserve troops returned from a peacekeeping mission in Kosovo on Friday. 116 Czech reserve troops were deployed in Kosovo at the beginning of March after the former Serbian province declared independence. During their mission, the soldiers helped the multi-national KFOR forces maintain order in the northern regions of Kosovo. The troops will be on alert until the end of July but do not expect to be called back. The regular Czech KFOR contingent remains in Kosovo.
Some 30,000 Czechs commemorated on Saturday the 1145th anniversary of the
arrival of the Christian missionaries Cyril and Methodius. A public holiday
in the Czech Republic, the anniversary was marked by the annual national
pilgrimage to Velehrad, one of Moravia’s most important Catholic centres
where Roman Cardinal Giovanni Coppa, together with Bohemian and Moravian
bishops, celebrated a festive holly mass to mark the event.
The brothers Cyril and Methodius, originally from Thessaloniki, arrived in Moravia in 863 to spread the gospel in a Slavic language; for that they also designed a script known as the Cyrillic alphabet.
The governor of the Central Bohemia Region Pavel Bendl, along with several mayors of the region, are set to appear in a musical based on the novel “Postřižiny” by the late Bohumil Hrabal. The musical will only be staged in three venues in Central Bohemia during the summer. The novel, known in English as “Cutting it Short”, was first published illegally in 1974.
Bathory by Juraj Jakubisko, the most expensive central European film ever made, premiered at the 43rd Karlovy Vary International Film Festival on Saturday. The movie stars English actress Anna Friel in the role of the 17th century Hungarian countess Elizabeth Bathory, famous for alleged serial murders. The film, co-produced by Czech companies, cost around 320 million crowns, or more than 21 million U.S. dollars. At the premiere, the Prague-based Slovak director Juraj Jakubisko was also awarded a Crystal Glove for his contribution to filmmaking.
Libor Kozák, a 19-year-old footballer from Opava, in Silesia, signed a five-year contract on Saturday with Lazio Roma, one of the best clubs of the first Italian division. The Rome-based club will pay 1.2 million euros for the Czech forward. Libor Kozák scored 11 goals for the second-division team of Opava; he is also on the under-19 Czech national football team.
The 50th International Opera Festival Smetana’s Litomyšl concluded on Saturday with a Solo for Ladies. The concert featured singers Eleonore Marguerre, Arpiné Rahdjian and Zoryana Kushpler performing famous opera arias and duets. The three-week opera festival, held in the birthplace of the famous 19th century Czech composer Bedřich Smetana, has seen one of the most successful years in its history, having sold more than 20,000 tickets.
Former Czech President Václav Havel said that the Czech Republic should
press on with the ratification of the Lisbon Treaty. Mr Havel told
Financial Times on Friday that the treaty should be kept alive in spite of
its rejection in the Irish vote. Once the treaty is ratified, the EU should
consider creating “a beautiful, simple constitution that children could
learn about at school”.
The Czech Republic has not yet started the ratification process of the document; the country’s Constitutional Court is currently reviewing the treaty to see whether it is in line with the Czech law.
Russian hockey team Avangard Omsk has reported it signed a two-year deal with a one-year option with Czech star Jaromír Jágr, a day after the NHL’s New York Rangers announced they had given up on the player and signed Markus Naslund in his stead. The departure marks the end of an era for Jágr: he spent 17 seasons in the NHL, winning two Stanley Cups with the Pittsburgh Penguins. He finished atop the player’s standings five times, and also won the Hart Trophy. Jágr has played for Russia’s Omsk before: he led the team to victory in the European Super Six in 2004/2005 during the NHL lockout.
The acting Czech consul in New Dehli has revealed that the future of two Czech researchers arrested not long ago in India could be decided in court on Monday. Emil Kučera, 52, and biologist Petr Švácha, 51, were arrested late last month for allegedly collecting rare insects, a serious offence under India’s wildlife protection act. The researchers are believed to have collected several hundred specimens and each faces up to seven years in prison. They defended their actions by saying they had no idea they had been within a national park. Czech officials have confirmed there is a good chance the researchers could now be released on bail. The Czech scientific community reacted to their case by circulating a petition of support of both suspects. It was signed by 525 people and presented to the Indian prime minister.
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