In Magazine: Czech tennis star Petra Kvitová confirms breaking up with hockey player Radek Meidl, car enthusiasts put together a collection of veteran Skodas, Czech Radio joins the Street Piano initiative, Plzen prepares for its annual history festivities and a mammoth wins top prize for curiosity of the year.
Czech tennis star Petra Kvitová has confirmed that her engagement to hockey player Radek Meidl is off. The couple got engaged in November of last year but fell-out over future plans. Meidl wanted them to get married settle down and have children while Kvitová expected to spend a few more years focused on her career. “I gave Radek back his ring –it wouldn’t have been fair –we each wanted something different and it didn’t turn out as we expected,” Kvitová told reporters who noticed she was no longer wearing her engagement ring.
Car enthusiasts in the town of Trutnov have put together a collection of veteran Skoda cars dating back to 1935. The association Reincars.cz –short for reincarnation of cars – now has a collection of 40 vehicles, some of which are still in the process of being “reincarnated”. Among them are the Skoda Rapid, Popular or Tudor, the Skoda MBX, Skoda Spartak 445 or the Skoda sedan 1201. The association is still searching to acquire the prewar Favorit and Superb models in order to complete its collection of Skodas produced between 1935 and 1990. It is possible to view the collection already but visits must be arranged with the association by phone or email.
In mid-April Czech Radio’s music channel Vltava placed a piano at the main entrance to the Czech Radio building on Vinohradská 12 and on most days you’ll see someone strumming it. The initiative co-sponsored by singer Matěj Ruppert from Monkey Business, is part of the Street Piano project launched in the Czech Republic a few years ago. There are now 50 street pianos in different parts of the country which passersby are encouraged to play. In 2014 a Czech police officer made international headlines after being filmed by a tourist playing a street piano while on duty. He was commended by the chief of police for boosting the force's image and warned not to do it again.
Preparations are in full swing for this year’s history festivities in the west Bohemian city of Plzen. The “history weekend” organized by Plzen city hall dates back to 1995 and involves a wide variety of outdoor events such as a fair, fencing, dancing, food tasting and music in the streets of the city. Each year the festivities are linked to a different period in the country’s history –the founding of the town back in the 13th century, the Thirty Years War, or the 18th and 19th centuries. This year’s historic festivities are scheduled for June 11-12 and celebrate the 700 anniversary of the birth of Bohemian King and Holy Roman Emperor Charles IV. Among the attractions are an eleven-meter-tall puppet of Charles IV, delicacies from the Emperor’s court and a parade in historical costumes where Charles will appear as a young prince together with his parents John of Luxembourg and his wife Eliška Přemyslovna.
The main prize for curiosity of the year presented by the Pelhřimov Museum of Records and Curiosities has gone to Jaroslav Šefl – for his sculpture of a mammoth made of willow branches. The three-meter-high and seven-meter-long statue which graced his garden has become a major attraction admired by over a thousand visitors. Jaroslav says his hobby of creating animals from willow branches began a few years ago when he saw a reindeer made of willow branches in a flower shop and decided he would try to make one. Since then he has produced a bull, a horse, an auroch and a moose, among others. The mammoth is now on view in Pelhřimov and its author will pick up the festival’s main prize on June 11th.
My Prague – Rob Cameron
Agencies abuse Czech visa system in Ukraine to fuel booming illegal business
Hockey legend Jaromír Jágr turns 45
Marie Iljašenko: a European poet
New documentary celebrates Czechoslovak war hero, RAF pilot Emil Boček
Jan Antonín Baťa always said he put his people first, says granddaughter Dolores Bata Arambasic
Academic Michael Smith: Czech govt. is supporting education of well-off through “free” universities