The renovation of the back corner of Prague's main train station, which you pass as you take the tram from the station up towards Zizkov, is quite an impressive job which no doubt cost millions of crowns. Depressingly soon after the work was completed, graffiti started appearing on the huge concrete walls. One of them reads "we don't want clean city".
For many Czechs, graffiti is one of the less welcome bi-products of the changes that have swept society since 1989. Whether it's the Technicolor swirls that adorn concrete walls across the country's towns and cities, or the so-called "tags" or signatures that appear on buildings and bus shelters everywhere, the Czech authorities appear to fighting an endless battle against graffiti. But the town of Kadan has taken an unusual step in this fight.
Like many cities, Prague has more than its fair share of graffiti. It's certainly one of the more visible changes in the appearance of the Czech capital since the fall of communism. Many people are appalled by the increase in graffiti around Prague, which can often be seen defacing the beautiful facades of the city's historical buildings. It is hardly surprising therefore that tough legislation introduced a few years ago, which made it possible to send graffiti artists to prison won widespread support here. Despite the tougher laws, however, graffiti
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The Lower House of Parliament has approved an amendment to the penal code which, if approved by the Senate and signed by President Havel, could mean up to eight years in jail for spray-painters who scrawl graffiti on historic buildings. This problem has been escalating and represents a real threat to medieval sites and buildings, many of them protected by the United Nations heritage organization, UNESCO. has been looking into the issue.