US President Barack Obama told thousands of cheering fans on Sunday that he was proud to be the man who had brought Michelle Obama to Prague. While her husband spent the day in talks with EU leaders, Mrs Obama went on a tour of one of the city’s most famous historic monuments – the old Jewish ghetto. Her guide was Michaela Sidenberg, of the Jewish Museum in Prague, who says the First Lady had a special petition to make.
Contemporary Czech art made international headlines after the Czech presidency of the European Union unveiled the famous Entropa artefact by David Černý in Brussels in January. But contemporary art is doing well in the Czech Republic, too: two years ago, Meet Factory opened in Prague with studios for young artists; last year, the privately-owned DOX gallery opened in the capital. And another such venue of contemporary Czech art is the Vernon Fine Art gallery in Holešovice.
Under communism, hundreds of people died trying to escape across Czechoslovakia’s borders into the West. However, the traffic was not all one way, as in the years following the Communist takeover of 1948, Western states sent Czechoslovak agents into the country to work secretly with the small anti-communist resistance. They are the subject of a new exhibition in Prague.
The Karel Gott Museum in Jevany, just outside Prague, is to close, it was announced on Friday. The museum dedicated to the life and career of the father of Czech pop is closing after three years of operation, in which time it has attracted over 30,000 visitors. ‘Gottland’ was housed in the singer’s former home, a lakeside villa in the forest outside Prague. The museum’s closure follows the closure of ‘Gott Gallery Restaurant’ formerly on Prague’s Spalená Street, in January this year.
The Czech Republic has been marking International Holocaust Remembrance Day, which comes on the anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp in occupied Poland. Numerous events have been taking place across the country and in Prague in particular. Dominik Jůn spoke with Zuzana Tlášková of the Jewish Museum in Prague to find out more.
Artěl was a turn-of-the-century collective of young Prague-based designers sometimes referred to as the ‘Czech Bauhaus’. The movement is nowadays most famous for its cubist ceramics, which are still much sought after, and for its colourful wooden boxes and toys. In this, Artěl’s centenary year, the Museum of Decorative Arts in Prague has launched a major retrospective of the movement, whose impact is still felt on Czech design today. Museum director Helena Konigsmarková showed me around:
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