In Magazine: a 1905 oil painting of Emperor Franz Josef has gone from the waste dump to a Viennese auction house, a stolen Cinderella film costume is mysteriously returned, an 11-year-old schoolboy wins a “minister for a day” award and a twenty-three-year–old student says he has the answer to finding shelter for the homeless.

Drawing by Jakub ZemanDrawing by Jakub Zeman Eleven-year-old Jakub Zeman may have a bright political future ahead of him. Last week he tried his hand at being “minister for a day” trailing Education Minister Marcel Chládek, sitting in at his morning meeting with the ministry’s management, making an inspection visit to a primary school and attending a press briefing for journalists in the late afternoon. Being minister for a day was his reward for winning a children’s competition in which over 2000 kids were invited to draw the ideal teacher and say what he or she should be like. Jakub chose to draw a male teacher -even though, or maybe because - the vast majority of primary school teachers in the country are women, saying he should be creative, entertaining, a good singer and good with computers. It is not clear if the education minister, who has just ordered teachers across the board who are not fully qualified for their posts to complete their education, will take his advice to heart.


Photo: Kristýna MakováPhoto: Kristýna Maková Officers in the town of Dečín were called to resolve a lovers’ spat last week. A thirty-seven-year-old man called them in, saying he was a victim of domestic violence. It emerged that his girlfriend had soundly slapped his face when he announced that he was off to the pub for a pint of beer with his mates. The lady had other ideas for a romantic night at home and decided to shorten a long debate on the matter by letting him know just how bad she felt. The man had a long talk with the police and agreed not to file charges. One of the officers said later it looked like he just needed to get things off his chest.


Photo: Kristýna MakováPhoto: Kristýna Maková The maternity hospital in Olomouc is the first in the country to introduce the practice of web cameras in incubators which allow the parents of prematurely born babies to bond with them from a distance. The practice which has proved highly successful abroad gives not just moms but whole families access to prematurely born babies without putting them at risk. Doctors say the psychological effect on mothers is palpable. Other innovations, which benefit primarily the child, is that babies in incubators are exposed to music and recordings of their family’s voices –mum, dad and siblings –which reportedly have a soothing effect on them. Music therapy has been proven to shorten the time babies need to spend in an incubator.


Photo: Florian OertelPhoto: Florian Oertel The curator of an exhibition in Saxony’s Moritzburg devoted to the legendary Czech-German coproduction of Cinderella has told the press that the main costume on show – the dress worn by Cinderalla at the ball – which was stolen from the museum in February was anonymously returned by mail. The curator had almost given up hope that the police would find the culprit when it came back –without any message attached - in a scruffy-looking package. The curator says that the dress was undamaged, but had obviously been worn. Let’s hope the magic worked and the story had a happy ending.


Photo: Czech TelevisionPhoto: Czech Television An oil painting of Emperor Franz Josef has gone from the waste dump in the town of Broumov to a Dorotheum auction house where it is expected to be sell for around 12 thousand euro. The portrait of the emperor in military uniform was painted by Adolf Tinzmann jr. back in 1905. The painting survived WWI, WWII and the hardline communist 1950s, but it was nearly destroyed in the “normalization” years following the crushing of the Prague Spring. At the time it was in the ownership of the local town hall and a communist party official decided that a painting of the emperor was not only politically unacceptable but worthless – and ordered it thrown on a waste dump. One of the locals passing by noticed it and saved the painting. It remained in his family’s ownership for 40 years until they decided to sell it this spring offering it to the Viennese auction house Dorotheum. Paradoxically the Broumov Museum, which has other paintings by Tinzmann, would much like to acquire it, but lacks the funds to do so.


Photo: archive of Social Impact AwardPhoto: archive of Social Impact Award Twenty-three-year-old student Jakub Zaviačic has won the 2014 Social Impact Award for his idea to transform a cargo container into a low-cost emergency shelter for the homeless. The container, which has thermal lining and is heated by solar panels, is not only mobile –which means towns and cities can lease it according to their needs – but, due to its thermo-insulation would cost less that the heated tents that towns and cities erect for the homeless in harsh weather.