The undignified use of pieces of ancient Jewish tombstones as cobblestones in Prague’s pavements should soon come to an end. Under a memorandum to be signed between City Hall and the Jewish Community in Prague, any such stones discovered during repairs or other excavation work will be handed over to the latter.
Prague’s Lennon Wall has a new face and will newly serve as an open-air gallery. The famous tourist attraction, which before the Velvet Revolution served as a symbolic location of unofficial anti-communist protest, underwent a month-long revamp after being vandalised with vulgar graffiti. Prague authorities vowed to officially designate the Lennon Wall as a memorial site. Its new look was unveiled to the public on Thursday afternoon.
Prague’s historically working-class Žižkov district is perhaps best known today for its abundance of pubs (even by Czech standards) and colossal TV Tower – once voted the world’s second ugliest building. Lesser-known is the rich cultural history of what some natives proclaim the “Independent Republic of Žižkov”. Two of its proudest sons, Jaroslav and Miroslav Čvančara, have just published a sweeping illustrated book about the Prague 3 district, literally filling in the historical picture.
Prague’s historic city centre has been listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site since 1992. However, membership in the prestigious club could come under threat, at least according to a report by UNESCO experts who visited the Czech capital this summer. The Czech Minister of Culture has pledged to look into the matter, but City Hall officials say that the matter has been exaggerated.
The historical centre of Prague, which has been a UNESCO World Heritage
Site since 1992, could be put on the list of World Heritage in Danger,
according to UNESCO experts.
This UNESCO list is designed to inform the international community of conditions which threaten the very characteristics for which a property was inscribed on the World Heritage List, and to encourage corrective action.
A team of UNESCO experts who visited Prague in the spring expressed serious reservations to existing and planned high-rise buildings in Prague, and the new Building Act, which does not take into account the views of conservationists.
Culture Minister Lubomír Zaorálek said in response to the news that it was premature to voice concerns regarding the possibility of Prague’s historic centre being put on the list of World Heritage in Danger. He said negotiations were underway with UNESCO experts and corrective measures would be taken.
Prague has a new attraction in the form of 17 circular units – with enormous glass doors – in the walls of riverside embankments on both sides of the Palacký Bridge. The cool spaces will open fully next month and are set to house cafés, galleries and other facilities. At a public presentation of the project on Wednesday I discussed it with architecture critic Adam Gebrian.
Prague City Hall councillors have voted to terminate a memorandum of cooperation with shared e-scooter operator Lime on the grounds that the company is not adhering to the agreed-on conditions. While the termination of the memorandum will not affect the rent of scooters in Prague’s streets, it is a warning to the company that City Hall is unhappy with the present state of affairs.
The Lennon Wall, located in a secluded square in Malá Strana near the French embassy, had long been a traditional place where anybody was free to do any type of graffiti they want, though the general subject was John Lennon and world peace. This symbol of freedom, born in the communist years, later became a significant Prague landmark, connected with the dissident years and the Velvet Revolution. But the overwhelming interest in it proved too much. Things got out of hand and now the famous wall is undergoing a major transformation.
A simmering row between Prague and Beijing has finally come to a head. After the former announced a decision to terminate a sister city agreement with the Chinese capital, the country’s embassy said late on Wednesday night that it had abrogated the document itself. But can the dispute actually harm Prague?
Beijing has terminated its sister agreement with Prague and will suspend
all official contacts with the Czech capital, the Czech News Agency
reported on Thursday quoting a statement from Beijing authorities supplied
by the Chinese Embassy in the Czech Republic. The embassy goes on to say
that representatives of the Prague coalition had been intentionally
interfering in China's internal affairs and deliberately violated the
sister agreement with Beijing.
Earlier this week Prague authorities voted to terminate the city’s agreement with Beijing, after which the Chinese Ambassador to the Czech Republic Zhang Jianmin posted on Facebook that Prague’s own interests will suffer, triggering a reaction from the Czech Foreign Minister Tomáš Petříček, who said that threats have no place in diplomacy.