Prague is very much a centre of culture and proud of the fact that its classical music festivals attract music lovers from around the world. The Prague Spring Music Festival is a highly prestigious international music event and the more recently established Prague Autumn Festival has likewise gained an excellent reputation. Usually concert goers leave with lasting impressions - and come back for more. But occasionally a note of discord creeps in.
As China's economy goes from strength to strength, the country is also making great efforts to promote its language and culture across the world. In just three years, China has opened branches of its Confucius Institute in over 70 countries around the world. The first Confucius Institute in the Czech Republic was opened on Wednesday at Palacky University in Olomouc. I spoke to the head of the centre David Uher and started by asking him whether it was the university's own initiative or whether it was the Chinese who approached them.
Jaroslav Foglar's children's stories of adventure and mystery are beloved to at least three generations of Czechs. Banned under communism, his fiction nevertheless found its way into the homes and subsequently hearts of countless young Czechs, and created memories which for many linger long into adulthood. But with the increased exposure of children's literature in the Czech Republic to new and often international trends, is his popularity beginning to wane?
Ever since he painted a Soviet tank pink in 1991, David Cerny has remained one of the Czech Republic's more daring and innovative artists, whose work continues to provoke. His work - including enormous babies scaling the city's TV tower - can be seen in and around Prague but also abroad. Last week a new piece titled "Metalmorphosis" was unveiled in Charlotte, North Carolina, in the US. The event was attended by Czech and US representatives, as well as the seminal Czech underground band the Plastic People of the Universe.
Over the course of a decade, the film director Pavel Koutecky shot 45 hours' of unique behind-the-scenes footage of former president Vaclav Havel, at work and at play, from picking his way through Machiavellian post-election negotiations to giving restaurant tips to the Rolling Stones. Pavel Koutecky died in a tragic accident last year, but the film - called Citizen Havel - is now in post-production, and will premiere in the Czech Republic in January. On Monday there was a sneak preview of the working version at Prague's MAT cinema, where we spoke
The Czech art market has been thriving for the past few years and Czech auction houses have witnessed number of record sales. This weekend a Cubist painting "Girl in Pink" by the renowned twentieth-century artist Josef Capek was sold to an anonymous bidder for 12 million crowns (about 615,000 USD). It is the second highest sum paid for a painting in the Czech Republic. The Czech auction record for a work by Czech painter was set earlier this year by Frantisek Kupka's "Abstract Composition".
I remember as a nervous eighteen-year-old being packed off to Oxford for my very first term with the reassurance of my parents that I couldn't be going at a better time - that autumn there was the fairest of the seasons. I remain institutionalized to such an extent that I still, some years on, associate the autumn with the start of the new school year. The leaves start falling and I sharpen my pencils, buck-up my ideas and dust-off my satchel... or something like that.
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: