The world-renowned Czech piano maker Petrof is opening a museum on the company’s premises documenting the history of Petrof piano making. The museum will open to the public on Tuesday marking 150 years since the company was established in Hradec Kralove. On display will be twenty rare pieces, among them a piano made by Josef Petrof in 1882 and a pianola (self-playing piano) from 1929. Petrof annually sells over 1,500 pianos to 60 countries worldwide. The company currently employs 220 people.
An eighteenth century Torah case from Hradec Králové was auctioned off for 9,375 dollars on Monday at the Sotheby’s auction house in New York. The velvet and silk brocaded religious object was part of the Michael and Judy Steinhardt Judaica Collection, which includes hundreds of objects from around the world from antiquity through the 20th century. The auction of the remaining pieces in the collection will continue on Tuesday.
The first European garage designated exclusively for bicycles opened in the center of Hradec Králové. The octagonal multi-story glass structure can house up to 116 bicycles. Bikes are placed in free spots by an automated lift and can be left in the garage for five crowns per day. The investor and creator of the project, Rudolf Bernart, said that he was inspired by a similar garage he saw in Shanghai.
A police officer who on Friday shot his wife in Hradec Králové before aiming the weapon at himself is in a critical condition. The incident took place in a hairdressing salon in the central Bohemian town. The woman was rushed to hospital but died soon afterwards. The General Inspectorate of the Security Services is investigating the incident on account of the shooter being a member of the police force. The man, who is aged 42, formerly played soccer with a Czech first division club. He and his wife are said to have split up over Christmas.
A hailstorm halted traffic along the train route from Prague to Hradec Králové on Wednesday afternoon; the storm damaged safety equipment in two stations along the route leading to a more than one hour delay in both directions. The stations that saw damage were Velký Osek and Převýšov. Travel along the route has since resumed but delays in the area are still expected, a spokeswoman confirmed.
Railway traffic between Prague and Hradec Králové in eastern Bohemia was temporarily suspended on Monday due to maintenance work. The interruption, in effect between 9 AM and 4 PM, will last five days; passengers can instead use buses provided by Czech Railways, a spokesman for the company said. Regular traffic on the line should resume by Friday.
Several other regions including Hradec Králové, Southern Bohemia and Pardubice were also hit by severe rains overnight. In the Southern Bohemia region, a section of railway from Vyšší Brod to Rybník was blocked by rocks as a result of the downpour, while a road near the village of Přečín was made impassable by large levels of mud. Fire-fighters were called to around thirty incidents in all. In the Hradce Králové region, a person was reportedly hit by lightning, but survived without serious injury, while numerous basements and homes were flooded. Additionally, a children’s summer camp in Miskolezy had to be evacuated. In the Pardubicko region, fire-fighters also responded to numerous flooding incidents, as well as a fallen tree in Brandýse nad Orlicí.
A court in Hradec Králové on Wednesday sentenced a 45-year-old man to life in prison for murdering an elderly woman in February. The man killed the woman while on leave from a psychiatric facility where he was held as part of his previous sentence; in 2003 the man landed a 12-year-sentence for an attempted murder and rape of a minor. He had also served six years in a German prison for attempted rape of two women. Both the convict and prosecution have take time to consider appealing the verdict.
A regional court in Hradec Králové has dealt prison sentences of eight and five years to two entrepreneurs charged with fraud. According to the prosecution, the two businessmen, who were running the company Progres Invest, are guilty of some 36,000 fraud cases, cheating clients out of a total of half a billion Czech crowns. The two promised their investment clients high appreciation values even though they were aware they could not deliver them. The company went bankrupt in 1998.
Around 7,000 student protesters marched in the centre of Prague this morning, according to police estimates, though student leaders put the figure at 10,000. The marches are part of an ongoing “week of protests” organised by students against proposed government education reforms. Prague students were joined by their compatriots from across the country, reports ČTK, and marched from Rudolfinum to the offices of the Czech government in the centre of the city. Tuesday saw around 6000 students demonstrating in the city of Brno, while protests are also expected Wednesday in Hradec Králové, České Budějovice, Ostrava and Plzeň. Specifically, the students are seeking that Czech Education Minister Josef Dobeš reject current reform proposals, which students believe both reduce the autonomy of education institutions and shift the burden of funding higher education to students.