Czech poet and translator Petr Král, who also writes in French, was among
64 people honoured by the French Academy on Thursday for their
contributions in the cultural field.
The jury awarded Král, now 77, Le Grand Prix de la Francophonie not only for his book Critical Articles and Essays of Vlastizrady, but also for his entire body of work, including as an émigré.
As a translator and publisher, he has striven to bring Czech poetry to French readers, including the poems of Nobel Prize-winner Jaroslav Seifert. He also translated many French avant-garde writers, including André Breton, into Czech.
Král left Czechoslovakia for France after the Warsaw Pact invasion in 1968 and returned to his homeland in 2006. Three years ago he received the Czech State Prize for Literature.
The newly installed Slovak president Zuzana Čaputová, who visited Prague
on Monday, expressed her understanding for people who are demonstrating
against Prime Minister Andrej Babiš and for independent judiciary.
Speaking at a concert in her honour at Prague’s Kampa island, the Slovak head of state said drew analogy with last year’s demonstrations in Slovakia against the government led by Prime Minister Robert Fico. "What these demonstrations have in common is their peaceful tone", Mrs Čaputová said.
A series of protest took place in the Czech Republic in recent weeks against PM Babiš and his appointment of Marie Benešová as justice minister. The most recent rally in Prague was attended by an estimated 120,000 people. Another demonstration is due to take place on June 23 on Prague’s Letná plain, the venue of the largest anti-regime demonstrations of November 1989.
The Czech National Heritage Association has called a public tender for the
renovation of Karlštejn Castle. The costs of the renovation are estimated
at 104 million crowns.
The Gothic castle, built in 1357 by the Bohemian King and Holy Roman Emperor Charles IV as a treasury for the crown jewels and other precious royal artefacts, is one of the most visited sites outside the capital.
Renovation works are expected to start in September this year and continue until October 2022. Among the places to be reconstructed will be the Imperial Palace and the Burgrave House. The castle will remain open to the public, although some areas might be temporarily closed.
The growing season in the Czech Republic will increase by up to one month
over the next 30 years due to the growing average temperature, scientists
from Brno’s Mendel University told a conference dedicated to climate
change on Thursday.
The early onset of spring will significantly increase the risks of summer droughts and increase damages to harvest caused by spring frosts. Czechs can also expect longer period of droughts, more extreme weather fluctuations and more frequent tropical days, the scientists said.
Three Przewalski mares have been successfully transported to Mongolia on
board a Czech military plane as part of Prague Zoo’s long-term programme
to save the endangered species, the zoo said in a press release on
The Przewalski horse is a rare subspecies native to Mongolia, which became
extinct in the wild in the 1960s. Prague Zoo has played a major role in
saving the horse, breeding it and returning it to its natural environment.
To date, the zoo has sent 34 horses to a nature reserve in the Mongolian steppe, where they have started breeding successfully.
Education Minister Robert Plaga handed appointment decrees to 63 new
professors at a ceremony at Prague’s Karolinum on Thursday. Most of the
newly-named professors, 10 of which are women, are experts in fields of
technology, medicine and biology.
Among the well-known names are conductor Leoš Svárovský or Andrej Sukop, head of department of Plastic Surgery at Charles University.
The ceremony was not attended by President Miloš Zeman who says the right to appoint professors should be removed from the head of state, in line with practice in other countries.
An escaped cougar is still on the loose in the region of Jindřichův
Hradec in South Bohemia. The big cat has been sighted several times since
April, most recently this weekend near the villages of Deštná and
Local people and tourists have been advised to restrict their walks and keep away from the local forests until the animal is captured. Police have also called on people to report any sightings of the animal, which has most likely escaped from a private owner.
The new Slovak president, Zuzana Čaputová, arrived in Prague on Thursday
on what is her first foreign trip since her appointment on Saturday. She
was welcomed with military honours at Prague Castle by her Czech
counterpart, Miloš Zeman.
Mrs Čaputová said after the meeting that her visit of the Czech Republic was not just a matter of tradition but a matter real interest in a country, where she had lots of friends. She also said the Czech-Slovak cooperation should continue also within the V4 group, as long as its members respect the rule of law and independent judiciary. The Slovak head of state also invited Mr Zeman to visit Slovakia.
Later on Wednesday, Mrs Čaputová laid flowers at the sculpture of the co-founder of Czechoslovakia, Milan Rastislav Štefánik, and held talks with representatives of the Senate.
The Slovak president is also scheduled to meet Slovaks living in the Czech Republic. In the evening, she is due to attend a concert in her honour at Prague’s Kampa island featuring Czech and Slovak artists.
Meteorologists have warned that strong storms will hit parts of the Czech Republic on Thursday afternoon and evening. Winds could reach up to 70 km per hour. Some areas could see up to 35 mm of rainfall, which could affect local streams and lead to local flooding. Parts of the country excepted to be affected include Moravia, Southern and Central Bohemia and Prague.