The Czech National Gallery has failed to return the valuable gothic painting, the Madonna of Veveří, to the Catholic Church. According to a previous ruling of a Prague court, the painting was recognised as the property of the church and the gallery was supposed to hand it over by Thursday, February 18. The church’s lawyer František Severin said it would call in the bailiffs if the deadline was not met. The National Gallery’s spokeswoman, Tereza Ježková, said they were ready to release the painting as soon as they have all the necessary documents. The Madonna of Veveří, from the first half of the 14th century, is ascribed to an artist close to the Master of Vyšší Brod. Until 1938 it decorated the interior of a church at the Veveří Castle.
A long-lost collaboration between Mozart and rival composer Salieri has been performed in Prague. The 1785 piece entitled Per la ricuperata salute di Ophelia, which has also been credited to a third collaborator named Cornetti, was discovered at the Czech National Music Museum last year by German musicologist and composer Timo Jouko Herrmann. The score became part of the institution’s collection in the 1950s but was not correctly identified.
A massive fire broke out overnight at the main building of Prague’s National Museum at the top of Wenceslas Square, one of the main landmarks of the capital. Around 20 fire crews were rushed to the scene with the fire given the highest danger level. The fire was brought under control after around an hour with around 200 square metres of the roof damaged. The blaze could have been started as a result of ongoing massive reconstruction works at the building which has resulted in it being closed to the public with the exhibits removed for storage.
There will be great excitement in the Czech art world on Friday when Ai Weiwei makes his first appearance in Prague. The world-famous Chinese artist and activist will be in town to officially open an exhibition of his Zodiac Heads at the Czech National Gallery, kicking off celebrations of its 220th anniversary. On the eve of Ai Weiwei’s visit, I asked the director of the National Gallery, Jiří Fajt, what the presence of an artist of such stature means to his institution.
Prague’s Pop Art Museum in Husova Street recently launched a new exhibition mapping the history of Apple computers which changed the world and the impact of visionary Steve Jobs. On view, are key devices from the original Apple I by Stephen Wozniak, to the Macintosh, to the iMac. Some of the items on display are rare limited editions only ever produced in the hundreds or several thousands.
A Museum of the Bible will soon open its doors to the public in the town of Pelhřimov. Organized by the Biblical Theological Seminar, a non-profit organization that provides theological training in the Czech Republic and Slovakia, the museum will display a large number of bibles in different languages –from rare old prints dating back to the 16th century to a Lego Bible for children. I asked one of the organizers of the project, theologian Vladimír Donát to tell me more about the museum and how the idea to establish a permanent exposition of this
What did famous Czech actors, aristocrats, politicians and scholars write in their books? Who did they dedicate their books to and what were the fates of their libraries after their deaths? An exhibition at the Museum of Music called 'Who Could It Have Belonged to?' throws light on these questions and takes visitors to a world that is slowly disappearing. One of the organizers of the exhibition, Richard Šípek, took me around and started by explaining the idea behind the endeavor, which was preceded by four years of painstaking research.
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