Aleš Rumpel is the head of the Mezipatra queer film festival, one of the leading events of its kind in Central and Eastern Europe. He has also been involved in numerous other cultural activities and currently works at the National Film Archive. Our tour of “Aleš’s Prague” begins on Národní třída, or National Street, an avenue that is home to institutions, such as Café Slavia and the National Theatre, as well as shops and restaurants of varying standards. So, what does Národní mean to Aleš Rumpel?
Talks are continuing at Prague City Hall between former coalition partners the Civic Democrats and TOP 09. On Monday, the latter quit the 11-member council, citing concerns over the administration of key areas, including financing, as well as problematic projects such as the overpriced Blanka tunnel. TOP 09 have since offered the Civ Dems a new agreement, one that, however, offers the latter fewer seats on the council and sees them lose the post of mayor.
The City of Prague Gallery was given custodianship of the Colloredo-Mansfeld Palace in Prague’s Old Town a few years ago. The gallery is finally ready to open the building to the public, and possibly make it one of its main exhibition and educational sites. Radio Prague headed over to the palace to speak with the team that is working on its new appearance.
Saturday is the 90th anniversary of the first regular broadcast by Czechoslovak, later Czech, Radio. An open day with free guided tours was held at the station’s back-to-back buildings on Vinohradská and Římská streets in central Prague from 9:00 to 17:00 as part of a series of events held to mark the moment at 20:15 on May 18, 1923 when the station launched regular broadcasts from a tent in the city’s Kbely district. Czech Radio’s flagship station Radiožurnál is set to interview 90 special guests in a special broadcast live from Wenceslas Square that begins at 20:15 on Saturday and runs for 48 hours.
Prague City Hall has taken steps to regulate busking in the city centre. A new regulation which went into force on Wednesday May 15, clearly stipulates which areas are off limits and where busking is still allowed. The regulation does not apply to Charles Bridge where special rules are in force. City Hall says the regulation was the result of a compromise between Prague residents and street artists. The new regulation also sets down a buskers’ ethical codex, intended to limit noise pollution in residential areas.
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.
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.
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