Prague gas workers checked for potential gas leaks across the city over the course of Monday following an explosion in the capital that damaged buildings near the National Theatre earlier this month and injured around 40 people. The amount of an olfactory indicator added to natural gas has been doubled to help residents detect leaks. Anyone in Prague suspecting a leak should call line 1239.
President Miloš Zeman is back at work after suffering from a viral infection, the president’s office has said, stressing he will spend most of the workweek at his desk to further aid his recovery. Mr Zeman attended the opening of the Prague Spring Music Festival on Sunday but was visibly unwell only a few days ago at a ceremony of bringing the crown jewels out of storage. During the official ceremony, the president, who is 69, had to prop himself against a wall to keep from swaying, sparking broad speculation over the cause of the problem.
A month after opening, 50,000 visitors will have seen a unique exhibition at Prague’s Obcení dům featuring an almost complete collection of posters by Art Nouveau painter Alfons Mucha. The collection is owned by former tennis great Ivan Lendl. The 50,000th visitor is expected on Tuesday, organisers revealed. Another recent exhibition in Prague that saw similar numbers (almost 49,000 visitors) was one dedicated to the work of 20th century avant garde painter František Kupka. Ivan Lendl : Alfons Mucha continues until the end of July.
In related news, a gas leak was detected on Monday not far from Prague’s Main Station. Gas leaked for several dozen minutes, officials said, after someone dismantled a gas tap at a nearby abandoned building. The leak was stopped by workers from the Pražská plynárenská gas company. The discovery of the leak was not connected to checks of gas piping taking place in the city on Monday, a spokesman said; because of the leak, traffic was disrupted for a time at Prague’s Magistrála throughway.
A public tender for the renovation of the National Museum’s historic main building on Wenceslas Square was launched on Monday. The tender was approved in April by the government and subsequently by the finance and culture ministries. Proposals received will be revealed at the end of August. The main building of the National Museum will retain its historic facade which was designed by architect Josef Schulz, but visitors in the future will be able to enjoy a modern exhibition venue following 21st century trends, representatives have made clear. One of the most prominent elements in the renovation plans is the creation of a tunnel connecting the National Museum’s main building with a sister-site which used to serve as the Parliamentary building in the former Czechoslovakia.
One of the more colourful news stories out of the Czech Republic last year concerned Corrupt Tour, which started running excursions – in Czech, English and German – to sites linked to graft. These include the villas of dodgy businessmen, Prague City Hall and the spot where the city’s “Olympic centre” was projected to stand.
Some 10,000 people put on their running shoes for this year’s Prague International Marathon and hundreds of onlookers turned up to cheer them on. The first through the finishing line this year was Nicholas Kemboi from Qatar who covered the 42 km distance in 2:08mins. The first woman to reach the finishing line was Caroline Rotich from Kenya who made it in 2:27mins. The marathon has gained increasing popularity since it was established in 1995. It takes runners through the city centre and has been voted one of the most beautiful in the world. In view of the Boston bombing special security measures have been taken for the event.
Hundreds of people have been lining up to view the Czech crown jewels which are now on display in the Vladislav Hall of Prague Castle. The crown jewels only go on public display on special occasions. This year they are being shown for ten days on the occasion of the election of President Miloš Zeman. The crown jewels include the St. Wenceslas crown, which Charles IV had made in 1347, the coronation crucifix also from the 14th century, as well as the royal sceptre and the royal apple from the first half of the 16 th century. Thousands of people are expected to view these symbols of Czech statehood in the next ten days.
Tens of thousands of people are expected to queue for hours to view the Czech crown jewels, which have just gone on display at Prague Castle’s Vladislav Hall. The priceless collection, which includes the St. Wenceslas crown, is being shown for the first time in five years – but only for a 10-day period.
Major reconstruction work has begun on one of the most frequented freeways in the Czech Republic, the D1, which connects Prague and Brno. The 160-kilometer road, which has been in a dire state for a number of years, will be modernized in sections, with only partial closings at each stretch. Transportation Ministry officials said that no traffic problems were noted in the first day of the road work. In addition to modernizing the road and connected infrastructure, the roadway will be expanded from two to three lanes in some places. The reconstruction should last six years in total.
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