Churches and other religious sites across the Czech Republic will open their doors to the public this weekend for the annual Night of Open Churches festival. The event, which attracts thousands of visitors each year, offers a rare opportunity to get a glimpse of places which are usually closed to the general public. This year, you can board a special ‘spiritual tram’ or try your hand at ringing a church bell as part of the festival offer.
This Saturday a Czech artist living in the UK is set to revive an ancient British custom in a suburb of Birmingham. Tereza Bušková will lead hundreds of people in “clipping the church”, which centres on the formation of an outward-facing ring around a place of worship. Bušková will add a Czech flavour to the event, decorating the church with ornate Bohemian pastries that will also be carried in a procession. On the line from England, the artist discussed the unusual project.
Most tourists visiting the Czech capital converge on just a few spots in the city, crowding the streets along the so-called Royal Route that leads from through the Old Town Square to Charles Bridge – missing out on many other interesting places that Prague has to offer. Now, city councillors from the district Prague 7 have decided to change that. Last week they announced their plan to become the city’s new cultural district with an alternative to the Royal Route.
Revelations last week that TV Prima management ordered reporters to present refugees in a negative light were a bombshell on the Czech media scene. The story centred on an audio recording posted by the investigative journalism website Hlídací pes, whose editor-in-chief, Robert Břešťan, came into our studios to discuss the scandal. But before we arrived at that subject, I asked Břešťan, who is 37, about his own beginnings in the journalism trade.
Today's Sunday Music Show is dedicated to the most famous Czech opera, The Bartered Bride by Bedřich Smetana. This week marked exactly 150 years since Prodaná nevěsta premiered at Prague's Provisional Theatre on May 30, 1866. The three-act comic opera, set in a country village, tells the story true love that eventually prevails over efforts of ambitious parents and a scheming marriage broker.
Every year the Czech Ministry of Culture and the Association of Czech Libraries awards the title Knight of the Order of the Beautiful Word to over a dozen children who have discovered the joy of reading and to selected actors and writers who have helped to bring the magic of the spoken or written word to the youngest generation. This year, for the first time ever, one of those admitted to the select club is a member of the Czech expat community abroad – nine-year-old Jerry Mech from Chicago.
Evidence has emerged that Prima TV ordered its journalists to report negatively on refugees. In a recording of an editorial meeting last year, the channel’s head of news is heard telling reporters to present asylum seekers as a threat or consider finding new jobs. The audio file was made public on Tuesday by independent news website HlídacíPes.org and has sparked a debate about journalistic ethics. I asked Hlídací Pes’s founder Robert Břešťan how he had reacted on first hearing the recording.