Foreign visitors arriving at Prague’s Václav Havel International Airport may be surprised to see an outsize Buddha statue on the premises. The sculpture is part of a summer festival of public art called Sculpture Line which runs from early June till late September. The collection of 22 sculptures by Czech and foreign artists, dotted around the city at well-known and less frequented locations, has been attracting a lot of attention. I asked Filip Tomášek from the Smart Point advertising and communication agency which organized the event, to tell
A Prague 1 court has ordered a rare painting dating back to 1350, Madona z Veveří, to be returned to the Czech Catholic Church. The verdict is not legally binding and the National Gallery which currently holds the painting, may appeal the decision. The Catholic Church staked a claim for the painting which it apparently owned for centuries before it became part of the National Gallery collection in 1958. The gallery refused to give it up on the grounds that the parish lost it before the onset of the communist regime, sometime in the late 1930s, and so it could not be reclaimed within the church restitution law.
The DOX Centre for Contemporary Art in Prague is currently hosting an exhibition called TRIAL, inspired by the second trial with the Russian businessman and oligarch Mikhail Khodorkovsky, which took place between the years 2009 and 2010. It is the first time the exhibition is being shown outside of Russia. I asked Michaela Šilpochová of DOX to tell me more about it:
An open-air cinema has been launched on the terrace of Prague’s Veletržní Palace, the home of the Czech National Gallery’s modern art collection. The first film, The Last Adventure by Robert Enrico, was screened there on Tuesday night and more archive movies on the theme of art, heights and aviation are planned for the remaining Tuesdays in August. The terrace of the Functionalist building housed a café in the past but since a fire it has rarely been used.
While most people regard decrepit buildings as something ugly, there are some who actually find them fascinating. One of the people enchanted by these modern-day ruins is Czech student Katka Havlíková. For several years now, she has been exploring vacant buildings across the Czech Republic as well as beyond the country's borders. She has even published a book on urban exploration and another one is to be released later this year. I met with Katka Havlíková to find out more about the phenomenon and her own fascination by vacant buildings:
A team doing research at the former Terezín concentration camp in north Bohemia have just presented remarkable findings in the form of previously undocumented inscriptions made by Jewish prisoners in the walls of the fortress. The Czech-German group behind the ongoing Ghettospuren (Ghetto Traces) project had previously discovered valuable items in attics and cellars at Terezín.
Police have recovered a stolen oil-painting by the Czech painter Jan Preisler which had been missing for 19 years. The painting, Study for Bathing, assessed at 8 million crowns, was stolen from an exhibition in the town of Chrudim in August of 1996. It was in the ownership of the National Gallery at the time. The police reportedly intercepted a planned sale to a private owner.
Around 31 valuable drawings are missing from the collection of the National Gallery, the spending watchdog, the National Audit Office announced on Monday. Some of the missing works are by Joseph Lada and František Kupka. A particular interesting case are some missing works by painter Jan Zrzavý, which appear to have been lost some time after they were lent for an exhibition in Amsterdam in 1999-2000. The National Gallery started criminal proceedings regarding the loss as the audit office checks were ongoing, that is at least 13 years after the disappearance probably took place.
An international travelling exhibition entitled the Legacy of Charlemagne opened at Prague Castle on Thursday, after already going on show in Belgium and Italy. The exhibition, which is part of an international project called Cradles of European Culture, displays about 300 objects from all over the world linked to the great medieval ruler, its curator Jana Maříková Kubková said. Visitors will have a chance to see for the first time some unique artefacts from Czech collections, including those uncovered at a burial site at Prague Castle’s Lumbe Gardens.
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