Celebrations marking the 30th anniversary of the Velvet Revolution are taking place not only in the Czech Republic but also among Czech and Slovak communities abroad. The Czech consulate in Chicago has prepared several events highlighting the 30 years of freedom, including a showcase of photos by the award-winning photographer Karel Cudlín.
The Lennon Wall, located in a secluded square in Malá Strana near the French embassy, had long been a traditional place where anybody was free to do any type of graffiti they want, though the general subject was John Lennon and world peace. This symbol of freedom, born in the communist years, later became a significant Prague landmark, connected with the dissident years and the Velvet Revolution. But the overwhelming interest in it proved too much. Things got out of hand and now the famous wall is undergoing a major transformation.
As tributes to the late Czech singer Karel Gott pour in from at home and abroad following news of his death on Wednesday, the Kodl Art Gallery in Prague has announced it is putting one of the singer’s paintings up for action. Although Karel Gott was an amateur, self-taught painter interest in it is expected to be huge.
The German Embassy in Prague this Saturday will mark the 30th anniversary
of the mass influx of East Germans to the Czech capital in the early autumn
of the revolutionary year of 1989.
Thousands of citizens of the former GDR had flocked to Prague after Czechoslovak authorities agreed not to prevent them from emigrating via the West German Embassy. The Berlin Wall fell months later.
To mark that anniversary, the Lobkowicz Palace will be open to the public, who can take part in a debate with the witnesses of the seminal events of 1989, and view exhibitions of photographs and historical documents.
At the time, the Czech capital was suddenly filled with hundreds of Trabants, whose owners had abandoned them often with the keys still in the ignition. A display of historic East German cars on Malostranské náměstí will recall the phenomenon.
The Czech National Library is displaying six rare historical manuscripts
from the turn of the 14th and 15th centuries to mark the 600th anniversary
of the death of King Wenceslas IV.
The manuscripts, normally kept in the library vault, will be on display at Prague’s Klementinum on Friday and Saturday only.
Wenceslas IV had amassed a huge collection of books with the aim of establishing a library to rival those of royals in France. But it is thought to have either been stolen or destroyed by Hussites.
Culture Minister Lubomír Zaorálek has fired Ivan Morávek from the
position of acting director of the National Gallery in Prague. Anne-Marie
Nedoma has been named temporary head of the gallery until a new selection
procedure takes place. The minister told journalists on Thursday that he
has also created an expert council, which will work on preparing the
selection procedure and name the commission that chooses the new director
of the gallery.
Ivan Morávek was chosen to lead the gallery by the controversial previous minister Antonín Staněk earlier this year after Jiří Fajt was fired in what some saw as a politically motivated move.
Anne-Marie Nedoma, will start her new appointment on Friday. For the past year and a half she has worked at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Several buildings in the centre of Prague, including the Dancing House and
the Kotva department store, were covered with temporary graffiti on Sunday
night. The aim of the event, organised by Prague Property Company, is to
draw attention to the fact that the city lacks legal space for street art.
The firm administers all of the buildings in question.
The company provided 20 Czech street artists with 190 square metres of space for creating temporary graffiti. It also announced its plan to turn the Koh-i-noor factory building in Prague’s Vršovice district into a legal space for graffiti art.
A number of leading photographers have refused to submit entries to this
year’s edition of the Czech Press Photo competition. Names such as Michal
Čížek, Milan Jaroš, Stanislav Krupař, Tomki Němec, Filip Singer and
Jan Šibík, who between them hold a number of prestigious awards, said in
an open letter to the organiser that Czech Press Photo had lost the credit
it had built up over a quarter of a century.
Last year’s winning photo by Lukáš Zeman, which depicted an orangutan and its dying baby, was criticised for lacking journalistic value.
Peter Sis’s On Flying and Other Dreams is one of the exhibitions of the year in Prague. It places in a fresh context five books focused on freedom by the US-based author and illustrator, including The Wall – Growing up Behind the Iron Curtain, The Three Golden Keys and Robinson. The show was conceived by the team of Michaela Šilpochová, Leoš Válka, Ivana Brádková at venue DOX, and at the opening I asked Sis what he had made of their approach.
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Language exams for foreigners seeking permanent residency permit to become tougher
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Prague’s historical Koh-i-noor factory to be converted into residential area
The history of the “German Czechs”