When was the last time your senses deceived you? Now you have the chance to put them all to the test in the newly-opened Museum of Senses In Prague. The museum is a playful world where nothing around you is what it seems. I went along to see the attractions and was given a guided tour by Primož Kolarič who began by telling me how the idea to open such a museum arose.
"Less is more" is an aphorism often associated with the German-American architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe. He might be better known as the last director of the Bauhaus, the famous school of modern architecture in Germany in the interwar period. But before emigrating to the United States, Mies left an indelible mark in the heart of Moravia: the Villa Tugendhat in Brno.
The legendary Czech folk singer Wabi Daněk died last week at the age of 70. In the course of a career spanning close to half a century he composed over 100 songs, recorded over a dozen CDs and performed at thousands of concerts and festivals. His biggest hit Rosa na kolejích (Dew on the Tracks) recorded in 1970 became a staple around Czech campfires and a radio evergreen.
In his twenty years as editor-in-chief of the publishers Faber and Faber, Robert McCrum introduced some of the best Czech writers, including Václav Havel, Milan Kundera and Josef Škvorecký, to English speaking readers. This was in the days before the fall of communism and his visits to Czechoslovakia involved a cat-and-mouse game with the authorities. A few days ago Robert McCrum returned to the Czech Republic, to see how the country is faring on the eve of the fortieth anniversary of the Soviet-led invasion. He spoke to David Vaughan.
The Czech Embassy in London will on Friday evening celebrate its reopening after a two-year renovation project. The large-scale event will see performances by singer Lenny and artists František Skála and Petr Nikl, a light show provided by Prague’s Signal festival and drinks from the world-renowned bar owner Pavel Tvaroh. Ahead of the celebration, I caught up with Ambassador Libor Sečka at his newly remodeled office.
The annual Czech Press Photo competition, which evaluates both professional and amateur journalistic photographs from around the world, has selected the winners of the 2017 competition. And for the first time, the winner is a photograph taken not with an expensive camera, but with a simple cell phone.
The Museum of Decorative Arts in the centre of Prague has finally reopened after a protracted renovation. The largest Czech museum dedicated to applied art and design, which boasts one of the most extensive glass collections in Europe, had been closed since January 2015. It opened to the public with a new exhibition called Director’s Choice, presenting an exclusive selection of items from its collections.
František Vláčil, Karel Kachyňa, Vojtěch Jasný, Jiří Menzel and several more of the greatest ever Czech film directors honed their craft in the army during the communist period. And as the Czechoslovak New Wave was blossoming, the country’s military were producing the kind of short films that were the envy of their counterparts elsewhere in the Eastern Bloc. That’s according to historian Alice Lovejoy, author of the book Army Film and the Avant Garde. We spoke when Lovejoy, who teaches at the University of Minnesota, was in Prague recently.