Alex Went is the man behind the Prague Vitruvius, a very impressive and useful website dedicated to the city’s architecture. Indeed, the Englishman, who works as head of communications at Prague College, probably knows a lot more about the Czech capital’s buildings and history than the vast majority of natives. In the first part of our tour of “his Prague”, Went gives me some fascinating into Moskevská St., the main drag in his Vršovice neighbourhood – beginning across the street from the “Rangherka” mansion.
After three years, the renovation of Prague’s National Theatre is complete. The project, which cost 135 million crowns, saw the complete restoration of the theatre’s façade, which in places had fallen into disrepair. Not only has the theatre been restored, many of its magnificent interiors are also now viewable in a special tour online.
The Visegrad Four countries and South Korea adopted a joint memorandum supporting tighter economic, trade and cultural cooperation at a summit in Prague on Thursday. The memorandum, signed by South Korean President Park Geun-hye and the prime ministers of the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia supports the unification of North and South Korea as well as Ukraine’s pro-reform efforts. The V4 prime ministers have also rejected the proposal for creating a ‘mini-Schengen’, and called for a better protection of Schengen’s outer border.
Pawlowski AG, a company belonging to real estate developed Sebastian Pawlowski, has said it will launch international arbitration proceedings against the Czech Republic in the United States. The proceedings focus on land on the outskirts of Prague at Benice which was bought with a view to a giant housing project. Land zoning rules were first changed to allow the construction but later changed back resulting in a massive loss for the developer. The Ministry of Finance has refused an out of court settlement demanding 2.6 billion crowns in compensation.
Syrian president Bashar al-Assad said in an interview with Czech public broadcaster Czech Television that it is realistic that a peace agreement could be signed in Prague. He pointed out in the interview that the Czech Republic had kept a ‘balanced’position in the ongoing conflict and had not given in to pressure from the US and other countries. That had increased respect for the Czech Republic and its credibility. Assad added that, unlike other countries, it had kept open its embassy in Damascus. President Miloš Zeman first signaled that there was a possibility that a peace agreement could be signed in the Czech capital.
Prague has begun plans for a provisional budget for 2016. Councillors rejected a planned budget due to instability caused by the recent collapse of the city government. The provisional budget will be agreed monthly and correspond to a 12th of the budget for this year. The city also began 2015 with a provisional budget. Talks are continuing between parties with seats on the council after a coalition of ANO, the Social Democrats and the Three Coalition split last month.
An art group who protested against President Miloš Zeman by replacing the president’s flag at Prague Castle with a huge pair of red boxer shorts will not face punishment, Czech Television reported on Friday, quoting an official at the Prague Municipal Court. In a closed hearing earlier this week the court confirmed that members of the Ztohoven group should not stand trial. A district court had previously decided that they should not face punishment but the verdict was appealed by the state attorney.
Czech crime boss Radovan Krejčíř has been sentenced to 15 years in prison by a court in Prague for attempting to asset-strip the company Čepro and plotting the murder of a customs officer. Mr. Krejčíř is currently behind bars in South Africa after being found guilty of attempted murder and drug possession. He was previously found guilty in the Czech Republic of massive tax evasion and other crimes. The 47-year-old fled the country in 2005 after managing to escape during a police raid of his home.
Police in Prague have charged seven people in connection with overcharging tourists for taxi rides in the capital. Six of them are taxi drivers and the seventh is an official at City Hall suspected of taking bribes to leak information on planned checks, a spokesperson for the police said on Friday. The seven are facing charges of conspiracy to defraud. The police arrested the taxi drivers earlier this week. It was the first time they had taken such action in connection with overcharging.
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