The leading Czech philosopher Erazim Kohák passed away at the weekend at the age of 86. Professor Kohák’s family had to flee the Communists in 1948 and he could only return to his native country after 1989. Among those paying tribute to him have been Culture Minister Lubomír Zaorálek, who says his death will leave a gap in Czech public life.
The Bohemian town of Kladruby is famous worldwide for its horse stud farm, founded by the Habsburg emperor Rudolf II. It is also home to a spectacular 12th century Benedictine monastery where the martyred saint of Bohemia, John of Nepomuk, was tried and tortured. An effort is now afoot to have the cloister and Czech Baroque Gothic style church named a European Heritage site.
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.
Culture Minister Lubomír Zaorálek has fired Ivan Morávek from the
position of acting director of the National Gallery in Prague. Anne-Marie
Nedoma has been named temporary head of the gallery until a new selection
procedure takes place. The minister told journalists on Thursday that he
has also created an expert council, which will work on preparing the
selection procedure and name the commission that chooses the new director
of the gallery.
Ivan Morávek was chosen to lead the gallery by the controversial previous minister Antonín Staněk earlier this year after Jiří Fajt was fired in what some saw as a politically motivated move.
Anne-Marie Nedoma, will start her new appointment on Friday. For the past year and a half she has worked at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Czech Culture Minister Lubomír Zaorálek has brought out into the open a deepening feud between the mayor of Prague and Beijing, which has resulted in the cancellation of several cultural events involving Prague ensembles in China. In the sharpest rebuke yet, Minister Zaorálek told the Chinese ambassador to Prague, there would be no cultural exchange if Beijing continued with this practice.
Minister of Culture Lubomír Zaorálek (Social Democrats) objected to the
recent cancellation of concerts by Czech ensembles in China during a
meeting with the country’s ambassador in Prague, the news agency ČTK
Beijing has ‘indefinitely postponed’ or cancelled scheduled tours by the Prague Philharmonic Orchestra and other groups, likely due to an ongoing feud with Prague Mayor Zdenek Hřib (Pirates), a vocal supporter of Taiwan and Tibet.
Minister Zaorálek reportedly told the Chinese ambassador that the cancellations have damaged bilateral relations.
Since taking office a year ago, Hřib has pushed for the removal of a clause in a Prague-Beijing cooperation agreement requiring the Czech capital to respect the communist country’s “one-China policy”.
National Theatre artists, mainly opera singers, are threatening to strike if the newly appointed culture minister rejects their demand to open selection process to replace their current bosses and increase “transparency” at the institution. With some artistic licence – and apologies to Andrew Lloyd Webber – one could call this Act II of ‘The Phantom of the Czech Opera’.
The newly appointed culture minister, Lubomír Zaorálek, has cancelled the
selection procedure for the director of the National Gallery in Prague,
whom his predecessor in office Antonín Staněk sacked in in mid-April
citing poor management.
Minister Zaorálek told reporters the conditions cited in the open competition for the post had been prepared in haste and were inadequate. He said the selection process did not place emphasis on the gallery’s future direction nor did it open the position to contestants from abroad.
Minister Zaorálek said he likewise planned to review another of his predecessor’s last minute decisions, namely that the Hadí lázně spa in Teplice be struck off the list of Czech cultural monuments.
President Miloš Zeman on Tuesday appointed Lubomír Zaorálek to the post of culture minister, ending a drawn-out dispute over who should manage the arts portfolio. The seasoned Social Democrat, who has previously served as the country’s foreign minister, stressed the need to recognize the huge potential of the arts sphere and said he was not afraid to cross swords with the president in fulfilling his goals.
Prime Minister Andrej Babiš met with the Social Democratic Party’s
nominee for culture minister, Lubomír Zaorálek, on Thursday evening to
discuss his priorities in office.
The prime minister said later he had no problem with the nomination and had sent an official request to the president regarding his appointment.
President Zeman earlier indicated he also approved of the choice and his spokesman said the appointment would take place on Tuesday.
The nomination has brought to an end a drawn-out crisis which threatened to topple the coalition government.