Even if it's art -what's it doing parked here? The Prague police give one of the art exhibits on Wenceslas Square the Canadian boot and a huge parking fine! EU membership gives ballooning a boost and an eleven year old king rides through his village - traditions are still very much alive in some parts of the country. Find out more in Magazine with Daniela Lazarova.
How about a picnic in the middle of Wenseslas Square ? Or would you prefer to dine at a proper table? There is one set for you there now. It's part of an outdoor exhibition of "outsize" art called Sculpture Grande O4. The sculptures on show are the work of artists from 13 EU member states which have been placed to their best advantage in the centre of Prague -many of them on Wenseslas Square. As last year, the exhibits on show have met with mixed reactions from the city's inhabitants - in particular the one which represents a pair of shapely legs with the panties drawn down past the ankles. Its called Mission Accomplished and stands not far from the equestrian statue of St. Wenceslas. While some people shake their heads over it in disbelief, others are enthusiastically taking pictures.
The exhibition has its funny moments too. One of the exhibits is a sports car - called Michael Schumacher's Symphony. Within 24 hours of the exhibition's opening the car sported a Canadian boot - courtesy of the Prague traffic police. Stuck behind the wipers was a notice to the owner in three languages, telling him where he could pay the parking fine and get the boot removed. Passers by were hugely amused, but the exhibition's organizers kept a straight face. "We understand that the Prague traffic police have a stressful job. It was an easy mistake to make" a spokesperson said.
The Brno Festival of Entertainment is expected to be more colourful than ever now that the country has joined the European Union. Among the biggest attractions are balloon flights over the city and this year the organizers have promised a grand display of 37 balloons from nine EU countries. There will be balloons in all shapes and sizes - including balloons in the shape of a fox, a can and a glass of beer. This year's guest of honour is Crispin Williams, a British and world champion in this discipline. The Brno festival also includes outdoor theatre performances, sports events, exhibitions and a grand fireworks display. The festival starts on June 6th and you will find all the information you need at www.balloonjam.cz.
The planned reconstruction of Charles Bridge -one of the most visited tourist sites in the Czech capital is to begin in October of this year. The town hall authorities have phased out the project over the next two years, and say that at no point will the bridge be completely closed to the public.
Summer visitors to the Lednice chateau may be surprised to see a minaret in the chateaux gardens. The minaret is actually made of straw and is two and a half metres tall. It was made by Jaroslav Vajbar and got him into the Czech book of records. In the second week of June the minaret will be exhibited at the annual Pelhrimov Festival of Records and Curiosities.
In some parts of the Czech Republic old traditions still play an important part in people's lives. For instance the election of a local king and the royal ride through the village is something that the villagers of Kunovice have been working on for months. No amount of money and effort is spared - especially by the family from which the young king - was elected. This year the honour went to eleven year old Martin Pecha, who was up at 5 am for the event. His whole family was dressed in regional costume and he stood patiently while the elder women in the family carefully dressed him in the royal robes. The whole village had worked for six months on the costumes and paper flowers for the royal company of twenty two men and horses. There are 1,700 paper flowers on one horse alone! Think it's a waste of time for a day of play acting? The villagers think differently. Martin will now reign for two years and during that time his family will rise in importance. For the people of Kunovice these traditions are part of their identity and something they would not dream of giving up.
Pan Kralik or Mr. Rabbitt is quite a common name in the Czech Republic and so the town of Kraliky or Rabbitville decided to see how many of them would turn up for a Rabitt get-together. Over 80 Mr. and Mrs Rabbits turned up with their kids last weekend and made the Czech book of records.
The chefs at Stirin chateau cooked something special for afternoon tea last week - a strawberry and chocolate roll measuring all of 63 metres. The roll was so long it filled several chambers and wound like a snake through the first floor of the chateau. Eight chefs spent twenty hours preparing it and another 48 baking it. Some classical music to create the right mood and visitors could wish each other "Doubrou Chut" - the Czech equivalent of Bon Appetit! The roll made the Czech book of records - but could not compete with the world record. In Europe chefs have a tradition of outdoing each other in this respect and it is Bavarian chefs who hold the record with an apple roll that is an incredible 1,600 metres long!
Eighty six sling shooters - men, women and children- from across the Czech Republic met in the town of Mutenice in the Hodonin region to match their skills. The vast majority of the slings were hand made and bore the mark of time. The contestants use lead pellets 12 millimetres long, which can fly at a speed of 49 metres per second. The overall winner is the one who hits the most targets in thirty tries at a distance of ten metres and further. The event was held under the auspices of labour and social minister Zdenek Skromach who proved that he still remembered his boyhood years.
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