Wednesday marks the 91st anniversary of the foundation of Czechoslovakia. In conjunction with that anniversary, the National Memorial on Prague’s Vítkov hill has just been officially reopened after extensive renovations. It was built in honour of the Czech legionnaires whose bravery in World War I helped pave the way for the creation of the state, and reflects much of modern Czech history.
Not long after moving to Prague at the start of 1991, Englishman Richard Drury began working as a curator at the Central Bohemian Gallery, previously known as the Czech Museum of Fine Arts, on Husová St. He has been there ever since. Remarkably for a foreigner, he is also chairman of one section of the venerable Czech cultural organisation Umělecká beseda. When we met, I asked Drury if it had been hard to find a place in Prague’s art world.
This Wednesday is reporter Rosie Johnston’s last day here at Radio Prague. Why? Because Rosie is heading to the United States, to undertake a new national project, interviewing Czechs and Slovaks who emigrated to America under communism. Rosie joins us now in the studio with more details about the project:
A new exhibition entitled Čerstvé! or Fresh! has just got underway at Prague’s Museum of Decorative Arts. It showcases recent acquisitions of the Museum, including glass, china, fashion, jewelry, furniture and graphic collections by prominent Czech designers and manufacturers. The exhibition is part of a larger event annual Designblok festival, which also starts today.
The Gold Treasure of Košice, Slovakia, will be one of the first collections to go on display in the new building of the Prague National Museum, its director Michal Lukeš told the ctk news agency. The treasure, which consists of some 3,000 coins and other precious items from the 15th and 16th centuries, was brought to Prague in a special van by representatives of the Slovak National Museum on Friday and was guarded by nine masked policemen armed with sub-machine guns. The Košice treasure was uncovered in the 1930s during the construction of a building in the town and its historical significance is said to be immeasurable. It will be on display from mid-September until January of 2010.
Those who have never been to America get their image of the continent from TV, movies, books and other media. It seems that this much has not changed since the New World was discovered and the first news from the continent reached Europe. The National Gallery in Prague has launched an exhibition called “Amerika k sežrání”, or “Savouring America” which presents the New World through 16th to 19th century European prints.
Over the centuries, Prague has hosted many outstanding scientists from across Europe – among them the German mathematician and astronomer Johannes Kepler. Kepler spent a full twelve years of his life in the Bohemian capital at the beginning of the 17th century and it was here that he carried out some of the most important observations. This week a new museum opens to the public in Prague in the actual house where the astronomer lived 400 years ago.
The former Czechoslovak Federal Assembly building opened its doors to the public for the first time this Saturday. After the fall of communism in Czechoslovakia, the building, which sits at the top of Prague’s Wenceslas Square, was handed symbolically to US broadcaster Radio Free Europe. In June, after years of broadcasting from this location, Radio Free Europe handed the keys over to the Czech National Museum. On Saturday at 10:00 CET the building opened its doors to the public for the first time. The National Museum organized a series of guided tours for visitors focusing on the building’s history. Such guided trips around the building will now be available seven days a week. A tour of the old Parliament building costs 80 crowns (4.4 USD).
This Saturday, the National Museum in Prague will open its newest building to the public, the former Prague bourse, former building of the Federal Parliament, and until only recently, the headquarters for Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty. Located across from the neo-Renaissance National Museum at the top of Wenceslas Square, the neighboring glass-and-steel building will house new exhibits starting this autumn.