Ahead of the 30th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square massacre, the Czech National Museum has rejected a gift of exceptional Chinese pottery worth some five million crowns. The museum also declined to send a representative at the weekend to an exhibition showcasing the pottery. While the museum rejected the gift on procedural grounds, the incident underscores concerns about opaque Chinese business practices and the communist country’s exercise of “soft power”.
The annual nationwide Festival of Museum Nights, during which museums and cultural institutions around the country organize special events and late-night opening hours for visitors, is traditionally preceded by a gala ceremony at which the Czech Association of Museums and Galleries hands out Gloria Musaealis awards in different categories. The award ceremony took place in Prague’s Municipal House on Thursday night and carried a special significance for the winners.
The annual Festival of Museum Nights opens in the West Bohemian spa town of
Karlovy Vary on Friday night. Between now and June 8th over 500 museums and
cultural institutions in 158 towns and cities will open their doors to the
public on a selected night.
Museums pull out all the stops for the annual event organizing special exhibitions, lectures, film-screenings, art competitions and concerts for visitors.
Museums in the Moravian metropolis of Brno will open their doors to visitors on Saturday night. The city of Prague which has 52 museums and galleries is at the end of the marathon with Prague Museum Night scheduled for June 8th.
How did the working poor live in Prague during the Austro-Hungarian Empire? In the days of the democratic First Czechoslovak Republic? Under Communism? And what about the homeless of today? Two separate yet complementary exhibitions now at the City of Prague Museum take a novel approach to presenting the capital’s often forgotten, overlooked or unknown history of poverty and homelessness.
Personal items belonging to the second Czechoslovak president Edvard Beneš and his wife Hana, including the late president’s shaving kit and walking stick, have become part of the collection of the Czech National Museum in Prague. The items were donated to the museum by Hana Benešová’s relatives, who live in the United States.
The heads of twelve foreign museums and galleries have written an open
letter to Prime Minister Andrej Babiš expressing shock and dismay at the
sacking of the head of the Prague National Gallery Jiří Fajt.
The heads of national galleries and cultural institutions in Europe and the US say that Fajt was instrumental in boosting cooperation among art institutions and raised the prestige of the National Galley in Prague.
They say his work has served as an inspiration for galleries elsewhere in the world. Fajt was sacked by the Czech culture minister last week following an in-depth audit at the gallery.
Culture Minister Antonín Staněk has dismissed the head of Prague’s
National Gallery Jiří Fajt and the head of the Museum of Art in Olomouc,
At a press conference on Thursday, the Minister of Culture said his
decision was made on the basis of an audit carried out in the institutions.
He said he had lost faith in the directors’ ability to efficiently manage
the institutions’ budgets.
Mr Staněk has also filed two criminal charges against Mr Fajt over an allegedly suspicious CZK 1.2 million contract and lease agreement. The chief post at Prague’s National Gallery will be temporarily filled by Ivan Morávek.
A new guide to Prague, called Curator, attempts to show the city to locals and tourists in a different light. A group of three art historians have handpicked the best of Prague galleries, contemporary spaces, paintings and sculptures, art cafés and art in the streets and interviewed people who have something to say about them. Instead of the traditional sights and overpriced tourists traps, Curator invites its users to discover interesting, and lesser-known places lying off the beaten tourist track.
The Czech military aircraft producer Aero Vodochody is marking the company’s 100th birthday with an exhibition documenting the development of its aircraft over the years. Titled “A century with Aero”, the exhibition showcases veterans – from its very first Aero A-1 which took to the skies in 1919 to its latest L-39 NG model launched in December of last year.
The National Museum in Prague re-opened to the public on Friday after a
month-long temporary closure. Visitors will have the chance to access the
dome, which offers a spectacular view of Wenceslas Square, as well as the
The newly-renovated historical building symbolically re-opened to the public on October 28th on the occasion of the centenary of the birth of Czechoslovakia, after being closed for seven years.
Nearly 300,000 people visited the National Museum before the end of the year, when admission was free of charge.
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