Hundreds of people used the opportunity on Tuesday to browse the collections of the Czech National Museum for free. The country’s biggest museum has opened its doors to the public to celebrate its 190th anniversary, which falls on the 15th of April. It’s also holding a series of other events to mark its birthday. But most of all it is getting ready for a major renovation project, that will get under way in three years’ time.
Alphonse Mucha’s Art Nouveau paintings are among the most instantly recognisable works in Czech art. He himself considered the Slav Epic, a series of huge paintings depicting the history of the Slav peoples, his greatest achievement, though it has not had the happiest of fates. Mucha donated it to Prague in 1928, on condition that the city build it a dedicated home. Eighty years later, his grandson John Mucha says he is at a loss as to why the artist’s wish has still not been fulfilled.
One community that’s borne the brunt of skinhead attacks are the country’s Romanies, 250,000 of whom live in a state of uneasy cohabitation with their white neighbours. Romanies make up half of the three dozen people killed in racially-motivated attacks since the fall of communism. April 8th is International Roma Day, which was first marked in 1971 and has been celebrated here in the Czech Republic since 1990. We spoke to Ivan Vesely, head of the Roma organisation Dzeno.
The police seized eight paintings on Friday belonging to the fugitive businessman Radovan Křejčíř which were to be sold at an auction. If sold, the eight works by renowned Czech modernist painters Jan Zrzavý and Václav Špála could go at an estimated 80 million crowns, or more than 5 million U.S. dollars. Fugitive Radovan Křejčíř is wanted in the Czech Republic for a number of crimes including conspiracy to murder, counterfeiting and extortion. Mr Křejčíř ran away in 2005 and is currently living in South Africa with his family.
Czech media may in the future face fines for running drastic photos. The Supreme Court ruled on Thursday that a Czech tabloid paper which printed in 2006 a picture of a young man who died in a car crash had to pay 100,000 crowns, or more than 6,200 U.S. dollars, to his family. The court said that the publication of such photos interferes with the family’s privacy.
It’s not everyday you are given a budget of 10 million crowns (624,000 USD) and told to spend it all. But that’s exactly what a group of Czech art experts were ordered to do by the government on Tuesday, in a bid to bring home some of the Czech Republic’s lost art treasures. Christie’s auction house in Amsterdam was putting more than 400 items from the Liechtenstein family’s art collection under the hammer. Many of these items had once hung on the walls of Czech chateaux. And following the sale, that’s where many of them will be finding themselves
This sort of music may not make for the easiest of listening, and the title of the song ‘pal vodsud’ hajzle’ (something like ‘piss off, jerk’), might not sound the most welcoming upon first read. But, it is a good example of Czech new wave rock of the 1980s. The band? Jasná Páka – one of the best known proponents of the new wave in this country, and one of the communist regime’s biggest thorns in the side. Jasná Páka reunited this week for a one-off concert to open a new exhibition at Prague’s Pop Museum called ‘Nová vlna se starým obsahem’ (‘New Wave
Art lovers have good reason to visit Amsterdam next week. On Tuesday, the Dutch branch of Christies auction house will be putting some very interesting artefacts under the hammer – approximately 400 items from the famous Liechtenstein art collection, one of the largest private art collections in the world. Some of these items once graced a number of Liechtenstein chateaux in the Czech lands and their administrators are now holding their breath: a team of Czech civil servants is heading for Amsterdam to try and buy some of them back.
Many capital cities are famed for their café culture, and Prague is no exception. At the turn of the twentieth century, writers like Karel Čapek and Franz Kafka would meet with artists, academics and politicians in the Czech capital’s cafes to expound their ideas over a cup of coffee - and maybe the smallest snifter of absinthe. Now a new exhibition called ‘Prague’s Coffeehouses and their World’ takes a look at the golden age of the city’s cafes, and attempts to recreate some of the magic such coffeehouses were said to have had at the turn of the
Archaeologists find unique grave of Roman era warlord in Uherský Brod
Czech Ambassador to Ethiopia Pavel Mikeš: ‘If you wait long enough, an egg will walk on two legs’
New debate erupts over use of -ová suffix in Czech female surnames
Divided by Freedom – Large-scale Czech Radio survey finds six social classes in Czech society
Josef Becher – the man behind Czech Republic’s iconic liqueur