Heads of Czech cultural centres from all over the world gathered this week in Prague for an annual meeting to discuss their strategies for the upcoming months. I spoke to Monika Koblerova, who is in charge of the Czech Centre in New York, about the highlights of this cultural season, and started by asking about the history of the Czech Centre in the US.
Exhibitions like this one are once in a lifetime: the loan of a famous Bohemian tome officially known as the Codex Gigas (but also as the Devil's Bible) to Prague. According to historians, the book, one of the largest medieval manuscripts in the world (almost a metre tall and half a metre wide), was completed some time in the 13th century at a Bendectine monastery in east Bohemia. The tome, once considered to be the eighth wonder of the world, is the oldest Czech chronicle written in Latin. Despite its devilish moniker, the Codex is by no means
In recent weeks, two high-profile cases of art theft have struck the Czech Republic. Both homegrown talent Jiri David and the Zimbabwean artist Gladios Mohumba have fallen victim to the sculpture thieves. With both sculptures disappearing while on public display, will this have an effect on sculptors' willingness to show their work out of doors? Rosie Johnston reports:
The Prague district of Smichov is enjoying an eventful month. Friday sees the start of its second festival in just two weeks. Lightheartedly named 'Happy Beer Days', it is to take place under the patronage of two Prague 5 councilors and has as its main sponsor the prestigious beer producer Staropramen, whose brewery is in the area. If the festival is successful, the organizers hope it will become an annual occurrence, attracting more and more visitors. Joshua Singer has the story.
The Dvorak hall of Prague's Rudolfinum will open its doors on Wednesday for the first concert of this year's international music festival 'Prague Autumn'. Taking place under the patronage of Czech President Vaclav Klaus and the Ministry of Culture, the prestigious annual festival will consist of a series of twenty-two concerts, and features an international lineup of performers.
Contemporary painter and rector of Prague's Academy of Fine Arts Jiri Sopko is one of the most respected artists in the Czech Republic. He first drew attention to his work in the 1960s and has continued to have a prominent and lasting impact. Last week a retrospective of some of Sopko's best but also lesser-known work opened at Prague's Rudolfinum Gallery.
Not long ago Jiri Sulc was unknown in Czech literary circles, but those days appear to be over. The former member of Czech counter-intelligence, is making a name for himself as an up-and-coming author. His first novel "Dva Proti Risiquot; (Two Against the Reich) was published after Mr Sulc won a prestigious Czech literary prize, and already his novel has gotten rave reviews. His story is set during the Second World War, focusing on the assassination of Nazi governor and "Hangman of Bohemia" Reinhard Heydrich. At the time Czechoslovak paratroopers
Kino Svetozor is one of the oldest cinemas in the Czech Republic, screening its first film way back in 1918. The film-house may be one of the most historic in the Czech Republic, but over the years, it has taken great pains to keep up with cinematic trends. In 1968, it revamped its whole interior to accommodate 'kinoautomat' - or interactive cinema - a conceptual type of film invented by director Raduz Cincera. Now, Svetozor is introducing Czech cinemagoers to something new again - this time, the concept of visitors 'adopting' their own seats. Earlier
The Museum of Applied Arts in Prague's Old Town houses some impressive collections, including porcelain, jewelry, clocks, furniture and costume. It is one of the city's most popular museums, and its collections bear witness to Central Europe's rich cultural history. But behind each exhibit there is also at least one human story, and a new book, called 'Navraty pameti' or 'bringing back memory' reminds us that these stories can sometimes be tragic. The book maps the several hundred artifacts in the museum's collections that had belonged to Jewish owners