The Czech Prime Minister Jiri Paroubek was in Sweden this week, and he made a most unusual request. He surprised his host, Prime Minister Goran Persson, by asking to borrow the Devil's Bible, one of the artefacts that was stolen by the Swedish army from the Czech lands during the Thirty Years War in the mid 17th century.
Every year the Vize (Vision) 97 Foundation of former Czech president Vaclav Havel and his wife Dagmar presents an award for outstanding work in the world of science. This year's winner is one of the world's best known psychologists, Philip Zimbardo. He is famous for his work on behaviour in prisons, and last year sat on the commission investigating the abuse of Iraqi prisoners by American soldiers. I spoke to Professor Zimbardo at Tuesday's ceremony, and asked him what it meant to receive this award from Mr Havel.
The focus is on design this week in Prague, as the annual Designblok festival showcases both Czech and international furniture, accessories and fashion at a host of venues around the city. The centre of activities is a disused factory in the district of Karlin, which has been converted into a huge and very colourful temporary gallery. Just before the official opening on Monday evening, I asked organiser Jana Zielinski what was the aim of the Designblok festival.
John Connolly is the bestselling author of Nocturnes - a collection of macabre short stories, and the Charlie Parker novels that have successfully blended mystery with the supernatural. Over five books - beginning with Every Dead Thing - Connolly's main character, private eye Charlie Parker, has found himself in some pretty sticky situations. In Connolly's latest, The Black Angel, the character even visits the Czech Republic to learn more about the origins of a famous bone chapel. The author, who is Irish, spent a great deal of time in this country,
In today's special programme we meet Joyce Pritchard, an American woman who recently went back to her roots, when she visited the isolated Czech villages in Romania from which her great-grandparents emigrated a century ago. She and 14 other Americans of Czech-Romanian descent met long-lost relatives and experienced old Czech customs in a region somewhat left behind by the modern world. It was, says Joyce Pritchard, the trip of a lifetime.
One of the world's most famous film directors, Roman Polanski, was in Prague this weekend to attend the premiere of his latest movie Oliver Twist, an adaptation of Charles Dickens' classic novel of life on the streets of Victorian London. Oliver Twist is the latest major movie to be filmed in Prague, mostly at the city's Barrandov studios. So is it any good? Theo Schwinke, editorial director of Monitor CE, publishers of the Prague Daily Monitor, was at the premiere.
"Something Like Happiness", a new film by Czech director Bohdan Slama, won its first major success on the international stage at the weekend, clinching the Best Film award at the prestigious San Sebastian film festival. To add to the film's success, Ana Geislerova won Best Actress for her portrayal of a woman suffering from severe mental problems in the film, about ordinary people trying to survive the trials and tribulations of life. Tomas Baldynsky is a film critic for the magazine Reflex.
Prima ballerina Daria Klimentova is undoubtedly one of the most popular Czech dancers ever, with an impressive career in the Prague National Theatre Ballet, the Cape Ballet Company in Cape Town, the Scottish Ballet in Glasgow, and since 1996 the English National Ballet. On Tuesday, an exhibition of 60 photographs opened to the public in the foyer of the Albert Hall that depicts her career both on and off stage.