The hedonism of today’s wealthy young Russians is the focus of an exhibition of photographs by Antonín Kratochvíl which has just opened at Prague’s Mánes gallery. In Moscow Nights, he captures scenes of decadence as the city’s “golden youth” cavort in night clubs and even on Stalin’s old yacht. Just ahead of the show’s opening, I asked the great Czech photographer what had drawn him to that subject.
After his images of the Soviet-led invasion of Czechoslovakia flashed around the world in 1968, Josef Koudelka went on to become one of the greatest photo-journalists of our time. Now in his early 70s, he has just received an award for promoting the good name of Czech culture. At the same time, Koudelka has presented some of his most important works to a Prague museum.
In this week’s Spotlight we focus on a small exhibition at the City of Prague museum which aims to cast some light on the centuries old links between Czechs and Vietnamese and the culture of the large Vietnamese community in the capital. The exhibition "Vietnam in Prague" is running at the City of Prague museum until mid-September. Organisers say the number of visits has already exceeded their expectations.
Prague Zoo has begun repair work on Cubist wooden buildings designed by the great inter-war architect Josef Gočár. The buildings were damaged by severe flooding which hit the Czech capital in 2002. The repair work is being carried out in a higher part of the zoo complex. Once it has been completed the timber structures will house a restaurant, a museum, a gallery and a lecture hall. Gočár is regarded as one of the founders of modern architecture in Czechoslovakia. His other works include Prague’s House of the Black Madonna and the Church of St. Wenceslas in the city’s Vršovice district.
A unique museum dedicated to aviation has opened in the Moravian city of Olomouc. The museum, which opened its doors to hundreds of visitors for the first time on Saturday, features not only aircraft, such as the MiG-21, but also displays equipment used in the training of pilots. A number of special events will take place on the opening weekend, such as demonstrations of army aviation techniques with plane and helicopter models.
The Museum of Decorative Arts in Prague is currently hosting an exhibition featuring the work of one of the most talented Czech toy designers of all time Libuše Niklová. Though her name might not ring a bell with the general public, her plastic toys, such as the red inflatable buffalo, have been popular companions to several generations of Czech children.
In June 2008, the Czech and Slovak Museum in the US state of Iowa was hit by a devastating flood, which has caused damage running into millions of dollars. Now, nearly two years later, it has opened in a new location in the Kosek Building, right in the middle of the Czech Village. To mark the first step on the road to its recovery, the Czech and Slovak Museum has put up a new exhibition called “Rising Above: the story of a people and the flood”. I spoke to the museum’s director Gail Naughton.
After two years of reconstruction, Prague’s famed marionette theatre “Divadlo Spejbla a Hurvínka” is reopening its doors on Thursday. The newly renovated location is the home of the Czech Republic’s most famous puppets, the father-son pair of Spejbl and Hurvínek, and will also feature a puppet museum. Sarah Borufka reports.
Monday night will see the opening of Prague Photo Fair. Until the end of the week, the Mánes Exhibition Hall will present a wide range of photographers, galleries and art schools from Central Europe. For the first time this year, the Prague Photo Fair is part of a larger event – the Prague Photo Festival - that will be held simultaneously at twelve venues in Prague. Tomáš Hájek is the event coordinator:
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