A 24-year-old man is in a serious condition after falling from the statue of St Wenceslas on Prague’s Wenceslas Square in the early hours of Wednesday. The man, who is not Czech, was drunk at the time. He is reported to have broken several bones and sustained other injuries in the fall, which took place around 3:30 am. The man refused to comply with police calls for him to get down for a period of half an hour. When he did decide to dismount the statue he slipped when half-way down and plunged several metres to the ground. The man could now also face a fine.
The spokesman for public broadcaster Czech TV, Ladislav Šticha, has revealed that 1.5 million local viewers watched a live broadcast on Thursday on the signing of the new Start treaty at Prague Castle by the US and Russian presidents. By comparison, the figure is lower than the number of those who tuned in for coverage of last year’s visit by Pope Benedict XVI – more than 2.3 million, or the number of those who saw Barack Obama’s speech outside Prague Castle last year, in which he outlined his vision for a world free of nuclear weapons. That was seen by 1.7 million people.
All of the rubbish bins in Prague’s metro stations were removed for security reasons in the wake of the September 11 attacks on the United States. Now, over eight years later, they are slowly making a comeback, after Prague’s authorities decided to invest in high tech bomb-resistant bins for the city’s underground rail system.
There is reported to be growing tension between the inhabitants of Prague’s Libuše district and the Vietnamese minority which is centred around the SAPA market place known as Little Hanoi. The economic crisis has left many Vietnamese unemployed and hundreds of them reportedly hang out at the SAPA market place which the locals claim has turned into a ghetto. People living in the market’s immediate vicinity say that they have problems with Vietnamese drug addicts who shoot up in public. According to the CTK news agency the locals are considering setting up community patrols in the area.
US and Russian security and logistics teams have arrived in Prague to prepare for an upcoming visit by US President Barack Obama and Russian President Dimitri Medvedev. The two heads of state are due to sign a landmark nuclear disarmament treaty in the Czech capital on Thursday and hold a series of bilateral talks. The US president is moreover meeting with 11 Central and East European leaders who are all expected to arrive on Thursday. The high-profile event is accompanied by a massive security operation.
The renovation of Charles Bridge, one of Prague’s most significant landmarks, has been hampered by serious mistakes, some of which are irreversible. That’s the verdict of a regional authority on preservation of historical monuments which reviewed the progress of the renovation, and fined Prague City Hall over three million crowns.
A new sculpting project is to open up one of the few original streets of Prague’s former Jewish ghetto to the public. Sculptor Aleš Veselý’s “Three Gates” will be located in what used to be the heart of the neighborhood, near Pinkas synagogue. The project is slated to be finished in 2011. Sarah Borufka has the story.
In two weeks’ time, news crews from around the world are set to descend on the Czech capital for the signing of an important deal between the United States and Russia on reducing their nuclear arsenals. The planned summit comes a year after America’s president, Barack Obama, outlined his policy on arms control in a major speech at Prague Castle.
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