Around 1,000 people held a protest in Moravský Krumlov on Sunday over the moving of Alphonse Mucha’s Slav Epic to Prague. The series of 20 paintings has been housed in Moravský Krumlov castle for over 50 years and is the town’s main attraction. However its owner, the city of Prague, will on Monday begin moving it to the capital, where it will be displayed at the Veletržni Palác modern art gallery. Mucha’s heirs are also opposed to such a move, which they regard as merely temporary. The Art Nouveau pioneer gave the Slav Epic to Prague, on the condition that the authorities built a dedicated home for his late masterpiece, a condition that remains unfulfilled. Saturday was the 150th anniversary of the birth of Alphonse Mucha in the Moravian town of Ivančice.
A Czech noble has weighed into ongoing talks about whether the Czech state should sell one of Prague’s Baroque architectural masterpieces to its current tenants: the German embassy. For the Germans, the building is more than a 17th century architectural jewel, it is also part of their recent history.
The start of the summer holidays has a profound effect on life in the Czech capital. Students go backpacking in the Middle East, families head for a seaside vacation in Croatia and children get dumped at their grandparents’ in the village. Prague dwellers evacuate the city in droves in favour of their country houses and holiday huts.
Two parts of the 6-kilometre tunnel being dug near Prague Castle collapsed on Tuesday, burying a worker for six hours and leaving a gaping hole in a garden of the Ministry of Culture. And it wasn’t the first time; the Blanka Tunnel has collapsed on two other occasions in the course of its construction, and concerned citizens and officials are losing their patience.
The Supreme Court has ruled that the city of Prague is to be held responsible for an accident that happened six years ago, when a British citizen was seriously injured by a Christmas tree that toppled over on the city’s Old Town Square. The man, who spent several months recovering from the accident, will receive 560,000 Czech crowns in compensations. Previously, the city of Prague appealed a verdict from 2006 under which the injured man was to receive 2.5 million Czech crowns, on the grounds that the organizers of the Christmas market were responsible for all safety issues. The verdict of the Supreme Court cannot be appealed.
A Prague City councillor, Jiří Janeček of the Civic Democrats, has come forward with a controversial plan which – if implemented – would push long-term homeless people from the city centre. His aim, Czech TV reported on Tuesday, is for the city to build a camp somewhere on the periphery that would provide shelter as well as soup twice a day for those, he said, who “respected nothing” or presented a “hygiene or security risk”. Not surprisingly, the proposal has quickly drawn criticism from charities and NGOs.
Hundreds of Michael Jackson fans gathered on Prague’s Wenceslas and Old Town squares on Friday evening to commemorate the first anniversary of the pop idol’s death. They came with candles and flowers, many of them dressed in typical Michael Jackson style and sang and danced some of his famous hits. The highlight of the evening was a concert in his memory at Prague’s Hybernia theatre attended by some 900 people.
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