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.
One of the most internationally renowned Czech writers, Jaroslav Hašek, was born in Prague 130 years ago on Tuesday. Hašek is best known for his four-volume satirical novel The Good Soldier Švejk, but has also written numerous short stories and newspaper articles. During the First World War, Hašek was first imprisoned by the Russian army and later joined the Czechoslovak Legion and the Red Army before returning to Czechoslovakia in 1920. A giant granite bust of Jaroslav Hašek was unveiled this weekend near Světla nad Sázavou in the Vysočina region.
The anti-corruption police have accused the former head of the Road and Motorway Directorate of the Czech Republic, Alfréd Brunclík, of manipulating rental contracts for two motorway rest areas. The estimated losses for the state, resulting from the manipulated tender, are approximately 120 million crowns. Mr Brunclík filed a complaint against the suit, claiming the accusations against him were ridiculous and unfounded. The police have accused four other individuals in the case.
Police are investigating the cause of Monday’s devastating explosion
near Prague’s National Theater, as clean-up work at the site of the
accident continues. It has not yet been determined if the explosion, which
is thought to have been caused by a gas leak in the building, was the
result of an accident. Prague’s main gas provider, Pražská
plynárenská, has denied possible neglect or wrongdoing on the part of
Forty three people were injured in the blast, of those 35 were taken to hospital, but the majority were released after getting medical attention. Two people remain in hospital with more serious injuries.
A home in Dolní Vilémovice that belonged to the family of Czech hero Jan Kubiš, a British-trained paratrooper who, together with his Slovak colleague Jozef Gabčík headed an operation to kill Nazi Reichsprotector Reinhard Heydrich, will open as a museum on June 22. Included in the permanent exhibition will be items that were found just recently during renovation of the site: previously unknown letters, photographs and part of a military uniform were discovered under a stairway. Jan Kubiš and fellow soldier Jozef Gabčík pulled off their daring attack against the ‘Hangman of Bohemia’ on May 27, 1942. Heydrich died several days later of his wounds. Kubiš, Gabčík and another five paratroopers were later surrounded at the Church of St. Cyril and St. Methodious on Resslova Street in Prague and paid for the assassination with their lives. Kubiš was wounded and died in hospital; the others committed suicide to avoid capture.
Residents of No. 8 in Přednadraží Street, a devastated building in Ostrava, in the east of the country, signed new leases on Monday with building owner Oldřich Roztočil. The owner told journalists that 11 out of 14 apartments were taken, insisting all except one were fully habitable. Rent, plus utilities, reportedly comes to 6,500 crowns a month. Renters however will no longer be able to count on subsidies as the site is no longer registered as a tenement building. The city is insisting that a recent court decision waiving a fine for the tenement’s owner’s company had nothing to with – and in no way invalidated – existing eviction notices.
The Czech Office for the Protection of Competition has cancelled a 25-million crown tender by the country’s prison service to buy transceivers. The anti-monopoly watchdog said the prison service failed to specify its criteria for the winning bid which made the procurement project non-transparent and could have affected the choice of the most advantageous offer. The prison service picked the firm RCD Radiokomunikace to deliver 3,000 transceivers and 250 base stations; however, it will now have to evaluate all the bids again.
In related news, Prague Mayor Bohuslav Svoboda, visited the site of the blast on Monday and confirmed that early analysis had shown there was a danger the building hit by the explosion could collapse. Stress analysis showed that one of the building's walls was pushed forward five centimetres. Mayor Svoboda said that the construction and engineering company Metrostav has been commissioned to brace the building to prevent it from collapsing. Others who visited the epicentre on Monday were Prime Minister Petr Nečas and Interior Minister Jan Kubice.
Petr Čech chalked up his 13th clean sheet this season at the weekend in Chelsea’s 2:0 win over Swansea. His record after nine seasons in the English Premiership stands at 141, beating retired player David Seaman’s record to put Čech into third spot, idnes reports. Only goalkeepers Mark Schwarzer of Fulham (148) and David James (173) have clinched more.
Prague High State attorney Lenka Bradáčová on Monday repeated a charge that some members of the anti-corruption police tried to gather compromising material against her as well as to fabricate a case against her husband to try and discredit her personally. Speaking to journalists, the high state attorney said there had been differences between herself and the anti-corruption unit for some time, saying that criminal police had – for example – conducted a number of investigations without any oversight by the state attorney’s office. Tomáš Martinec, the outgoing head of the unit, has strongly denied the accusations anyone had plotted against Ms Bradáčová; he is, however, stepping down at the end of April over the dispute.
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