Prague City Hall insists on exhibiting the Slav Epic series by art nouveau painter Alfons Mucha in Japan and China as part of a travelling exhibition in 2017 and 2018, despite criticism from restorers who worry that the paintings could be damaged by transport. They have called on the Ministry of Culture not to approve the loan. Prague councillor Jan Wolf told the Czech News Agency that the aim of the exhibition was to promote the Czech Republic and Prague. He also said the paintings have travelled abroad already during Mucha’s lifetimes. The loan has also been opposed by the grandson of the painter, John Mucha.
A new exhibition in Prague is set to display previously unseen pictures of St. Vitus Cathedral by the great Czech photographer Josef Sudek. While Sudek’s photos of the cathedral taken in the 1920s during construction are well-known, the works on show date from the Nazi occupation of the city. The exhibition In the Shadows of the Cathedral runs from Wednesday until August 30.
The London Czech Centre was instrumental in a recent project highlighting the industrial and cultural heritage of Ostrava in the east of the country. Entitled Stories from Ostrava – From Industry to Culture, it includes a short film called D.O.V by two students of architecture and an exhibition of photographs by photographer Viktor Kolář. Together, the present a unique glimpse for British audiences into another side of the Czech Republic – one beyond the medieval bridge and castle of the Czech capital.
The Dancing House Gallery in Prague has just opened an exhibition called Retro of the 70s and 80s, depicting the way of life of the common people and the communist elite in the last two decades of communism. The exhibition is extremely realistic – giving visitors a powerful throwback as they walk into the typical 70’s living room, shop or holiday scene. I went along and was given a tour by one of the organizers, Nikola Lörinczová.
China is to pay 2.7 million crowns to Prague City Hall for the planned loan of the Slav Epic, a series of paintings by Alphonse Mucha, the Czech News Agency reported on Saturday, citing the draft of a memorandum concerning the loan. The paintings are set to be displayed in Japan during the first quarter of next year and in China from mid-2017 until May 2018. According to the memorandum, the Chinese party should also finance the transfer of the paintings and the insurance costs. The Slav Epic will be on display in Prague until the end of the year. John Mucha, the grandson of the Art Nouveau painter, had previously said he was against the plan to exhibit the painting in China.
The Czech crowns jewels have been put back in their vault at Prague Castle’s St. Vitus Cathedral. The valuable collection, including the Crown of St. Wenceslas, had been on display for two weeks at an exhibition marking the 700th anniversary of Bohemian king and Holy Roman emperor Charles IV. Once the crown jewels had been returned on Tuesday evening their vault was ceremonially locked by seven key holders, including President Miloš Zeman, Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka and the archbishop of Prague, Cardinal Dominik Duka. They will not be put on public display until after the inauguration of the next president in 2018.
Dozens paid their last respects to designer and illustrator Adolf Born at Prague’s Strašnice crematorium on Friday. He died at the age of 85 on Sunday. Some of the mourners dressed up in traditional costumes from the end of the Hapsburg era. Born, was a great admirer of the Austro-Hungarian empire which preceded the creation of the independent Czechoslovakia in 1918. The ceremony ended with a rendition of Born’s favourite Radetsky March by Johann Strauss senior. Born was the illustrator of hundreds of childrens’ books enjoyed by four generation of Czechs.
A painting by famous Spanish mannerist El Greco, the Adoration of the Shepherds, will be exhibited in the Moravian city of Olomouc starting next week. The Olomouc Museum of Arts has acquired El Greco's masterpiece on loan from the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. It will go on display on June 2 to mark the celebrations of the 10th anniversary of the Archdiocese Museum of Arts. I spoke to Miroslav Kindl, the head of the museum, and asked him to tell me more about the loan:
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