The Lennon Wall, located in a secluded square in Malá Strana near the French embassy, had long been a traditional place where anybody was free to do any type of graffiti they want, though the general subject was John Lennon and world peace. This symbol of freedom, born in the communist years, later became a significant Prague landmark, connected with the dissident years and the Velvet Revolution. But the overwhelming interest in it proved too much. Things got out of hand and now the famous wall is undergoing a major transformation.
Several buildings in the centre of Prague, including the Dancing House and
the Kotva department store, were covered with temporary graffiti on Sunday
night. The aim of the event, organised by Prague Property Company, is to
draw attention to the fact that the city lacks legal space for street art.
The firm administers all of the buildings in question.
The company provided 20 Czech street artists with 190 square metres of space for creating temporary graffiti. It also announced its plan to turn the Koh-i-noor factory building in Prague’s Vršovice district into a legal space for graffiti art.
Prague Mayor Zdeněk Hřib and the man responsible for the unauthorized
clean-up of the graffiti on Charles Bridge Miloslav Černý will be
presenting a variety of new graffiti clean-up techniques to the public on
Originally the work of two German tourists was to have been removed by experts in restoration of historic monuments which was to have lasted close to three weeks.
Černý, who makes a living cleaning-up graffiti from Prague buildings secretly cleaned it up overnight with steam and hot water, saying later that the longer it stayed the deeper it could penetrate into the stones. He received thank you mails from hundreds of Czechs.
The mayor said the authorities would have to learn to move faster, so as to prevent the need for guerrilla actions on the part of the public. However he is paying Černý for his work.
A painting by Czech artist Pasta Oner will be auctioned at London’s
Sothebys in autumn. The picture, called Pipe and Phone, is currently on
display at Kodl art gallery in the centre of Prague. Its purchase price is
estimated at 280,000 to 420,000 thousand crowns.
The annual Sotheby’s auction, called 20th Century Art: A Different Perspective, showcases works by important modern and contemporary artists from Central and Eastern Europe. It is due to take place from November 4 to 12.
A large piece of graffiti on Charles Bridge, which was recently sprayed on the famous structure by two German tourists, mysteriously disappeared over the weekend. Official clean-up works on Charles Bridge, which were expected to take about two weeks, got underway on Saturday morning. However, someone secretly removed the graffiti that same night.
Prague’s John Lennon wall will become more actively protected. In response to a recent practice of tourist agencies that let visitors spray paint the surface, the Sovereign Millitary Order of Malta, which owns the famous sight, has decided to press charges. A special meeting between representatives of Prague 1, the order and local residents on Tuesday agreed to a new system of administering the wall.
After eight years of existence, the Trafačka art gallery in Prague is closing down, making way for a new housing development. Over the years, Trafačka, which is situated in a former transmission station in the Vysočany district, has become a respected centre for young artists and featured dozens of exhibitions and other events. I met with one of its founders, street and graffiti artist Jan Kaláb, to look back at the history of this unique space:
On the recent 25th anniversary of the start of the Velvet Revolution a previously unknown street art group named Pražská služba (Prague Service) made headlines at home and abroad for painting over the murals and graffiti on Prague’s John Lennon Wall, leaving it completely white apart from the words Wall is Over! To find out why they did it, I spoke to a member of Pražská služba, Mikuláš Karpeta. But we first discussed the origins of the Lennon Wall, a symbol of freedom in the communist era that is today a tourist attraction.
I decided it was time to update my profile picture on Facebook and I needed to go to the Lennon Wall to do that. As a study abroad student in Prague, I didn’t go to the Lennon Wall during the first month I was here, like everyone else in my program, because at first, I didn’t think it was worth it. I would see the pictures on social media with the typical John Lennon quotes to accompany them, but to me, it wasn’t a big deal.