The Czech Republic and Slovakia will unite next year to celebrate two major anniversaries: 100 years since the foundation of Czechoslovakia and the 50th anniversary of the 1968 Prague Spring and its subsequent crushing by Soviet-led forces. The celebrations are set to be bigger than ever, with nearly 200 events scheduled to take place over the course of the year.
Around 170 events, more than 50 of them prepared in cooperation with various Slovak institutions, are set to take place in the Czech Republic and Slovakia next year to mark the two significant anniversaries, foundation of Czechoslovakia in October 1918 and the Prague Spring and its crushing in August 1968.
According to plans which have to be approved by the government, the state is set to earmark some 400 million crowns (nearly 15 million euros) for the events. The flagship exhibition is set to take place in the main building of the National Museum in Prague, which is currently undergoing a major reconstruction. Michal Stehlík is the deputy head of the National Museum:
“The Czechoslovak exhibition will be our main project for the anniversary. It will open in March at Bratislava Castle and in October, on the actual anniversary, it will move to the National Museum building in Prague. It will be the first event to take place there after the renovation.”
The joint Czech-Slovak exhibition, prepared in cooperation with the Slovak National Museum and the Slovak National Gallery, will present Czechoslovakia from its establishment in 1918 until its peaceful separation in 1993.
“It will be an historical exhibition but it will be not only about history and politics. We would also like to present topics concerning the normal life of people living in Czechoslovakia, not only Czechs and Slovaks, life in churches, sport, culture and design. So we want to give an overall picture of the Czechoslovak Republic.”
The National Museum is also preparing a series of smaller events to take place throughout the year, and launch several books to mark the anniversaries.
The museum of Art in Olomouc, along with partners from Slovakia, Hungary and Poland, will feature an exhibition about art movements and trends in Central Europe in the early 1920s. The Czech Philharmonic will mark the 100th anniversary of the foundation of Czechoslovakia with an open-air concert. It will also stage performances of Leoš Janáček’s opera The Cunning Little Vixen in Prague and New York.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs will focus on the disintegration of the Austro-Hungarian empire and the post-war arrangement of Europe in a series of exhibitions, conferences, lectures and meetings set to take place throughout 2018.