Among the organizations keeping the legacy of the country’s first post-communist president alive is the Václav Havel Library, which was established back in 2004 but has boosted its activities since he passed away in December last year. This year the Václav Havel Library began expanding – starting the process of opening a branch in the United States. Masha Volynsky reports.
This week the Museum of Decorative Arts in Prague launched a new exhibition highlighting the fascinating history of the Matchbox brand – the famous die-cast toy cars. Matchbox and similar toy cars, traditionally referred to in Czech as Angličáci, have long proven popular here and there is no question the show will be a hit with families as well as collectors.
A tapestry dedicated to the late Czech president Václav Havel and financed by some of the world’s biggest rock stars was unveiled on Sunday at Prague’s recently renamed Václav Havel Airport. The massive artwork is based on a tribute to Mr. Havel by the Czech-born illustrator Peter Sís, while its creation was overseen by Amnesty International.
The Czech bluegrass band Druhá tráva has just released a new album Telč. One part of the album captures the band’s concert at a summer festival in the town of Telč last year, the other – coming out in a limited edition – contains songs Druhá Tráva’s recorded live with their friends and collaborators including Peter Rowan and Charlie McCoy.
Ever since Jaroslav Hašek first thought him up in the early 1920s, the “Good Soldier Švejk” has been one of the best loved characters in Czech literature, as he passively and comically undermines the authority of the Austrian monarchy. In Czech Books this week, David Vaughan meets one of the foremost Švejkologists from outside the Czech Republic.
The prog-fusion LP Kuře v hodinkách (Chicken in the Watch) by Flamengo, which was reissued this year on the 40th anniversary of its original release, is regarded as one of the greatest albums in the history of Czech rock. Looking back at its genesis, the group’s leader at the time, Vladimír Mišík, says Flamengo were in the form of their lives when they recorded Kuře v hodinkách, whose replacement lyrics by a regime-approved poet helped lift the project to a higher level.
Just a few days ago a Czech/Slovak/German children’s film called Modrý tygr (The Blue Tiger, released earlier this year) won the award for Best Picture at the Kinodiseea international children’s film festival in Bucharest. The film, based on a book by Tereza Horváthová, is set in a magical part of the city, focussing on a little girl and boy whose botanical garden is in danger of being demolished and can only saved by a magical tiger that the children befriend.