Prague councillors have unanimously agreed to ban Segways from the historic centre of the city. Once a final vote has been taken on the matter the two-wheeled electric vehicles should disappear from the area’s pavements, cycle paths and pedestrian zones, where they have become a common sight in recent years. Councillors on Tuesday did not set a date for when the Segway ban will come into effect.
The city of Prague is preparing to ban the use of Segway vehicles in the Prague Heritage Reservation, the Czech News Agency reported on Monday – a day before the matter is to be debated by councillors at City Hall. ČTK cited the proposal to be discussed. The reservation covers Prague’s historic centre: the Old and New Towns, Malá strana and Hradčany (the site of Prague Castle and St. Vitus’ Cathedral). Within the zone Segways will not be allowed on sidewalks, cycling paths, pedestrian walkways and in residential areas. Streets well outside the heritage reservation area are also included, namely near Prague’s Naměstí Míru. Segway vehicles were recently reclassified under new traffic legislation; previously, Segway users had been defined as pedestrians. Under the proposal, only the police will be allowed to use the vehicles in the areas outlined.
The 18th Khamoro World Roma Festival, showcasing Roma musicians from all over the world, opened with an open-air oncert at the embankment in Prague centre at the weekend. The event runs through June 4. Apart from concerts, the festival programme offers a number of accompanying events, including expert seminars on current topics. Sunday's opening concert started with Le Chavendar Czech band from Rokycany, west Bohemia, whose music is based on Roma folklore enriched by jazz, Latin and flamenco motifs. It was followed by Slovak singer Maros Bango along with the dulcimer band of Ladislav Rigo and DJ Shantel mixing electronic music with Balkan rhythms. He is the first DJ to remix songs of Romanies, Serbian and Macedonian bands, organizers said. During its 18-year history, the festival has welcomed a total of 184 bands from 33 countries, the Czech News Agency reported.
Steve Gove is the founder and director of the Prague Fringe festival, which has just got underway in the Czech capital for the 15th time. The Scot has been living in the city since 1997 and is an infectiously enthusiastic guide to “his Prague”. Our tour begins at Malostranská Beseda, an historic venue on the main square in the Lesser Quarter that has been the hub of Prague Fringe since the building’s extensive renovation in the 2000s.
Today it is easy to forget that Prague’s Letná Park overlooking the city once served as a pedestal to the largest statue in the world of Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin. Derisively referred to as ‘fronta na maso’ (queue for meat), the massive granite work featured the marshal followed by a line of anonymous ‘heroes of the proletariat’. Prague was freed of the sculptural monstrosity in 1962; now, thanks to a film crew shooting the story of sculptor Otakar Švec, Stalin will temporarily return.
Prague state attorney Dagmar Machová will as of now not lead criminal cases following searches last week of her office and others. The police swoops were related to the alleged leak of information about high profile cases: three people, including a former police detective from the anti-corruption unit, were charged with abuse of office and taking bribes. In the past, state attorney Machová was involved in cases such as the Opencard, in which two former Prague mayors are charged. The decision to sideline her from major cases was taken by the Municipal State Attorneys’ Office, spokeswoman Štěpánka Zenklová confirmed.
The Czech crown jewels have gone on display at Prague Castle as part of events marking the 700th anniversary of the birth of Czech king and Holy Roman emperor Charles IV. The crown jewels are being shown at Vladislav Hall and admission is free of charge. The collection, which is only displayed on exceptional occasions such as the election of the president, will be exhibited until the end of May. Prague Castle has organized seven exhibitions to mark the anniversary.
What kind of challenges does migration present for cities around the world? How could cities benefit from the influx of migrants? And is Prague ready to accept new residents? These are just some of the topics at the core of this year's annual reSITE conference and festival which gets under way in Prague in just a few weeks’ time. I discussed some of the issues with Martin Barry, the founder of ReSITE, and I first asked him to explain the choice of the festival’s main theme, Cities in Migration.
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