Some 400 people are attending a protest against Islam at Prague's Old Town Square on Saturday, organized by the group We Do Not Want Islam in the Czech Republic. After the gathering, the protesters are set to march to the seat of the Interior Ministry at Prague's Letná. Among those who attended the protest were a number of politicians, including Tomio Okamura, leader of the controversial Dawn Party, and Jana Volfová, head of the non-parliamentary Czech Suverenity movement. Around forty people have also attended the gathering in support of the minorities.
After years of speculation regarding its future, the famous Werich Villa on Prague’s Kampa, once the home of the famous Czech actor Jan Werich, is set to get a new tenant. The Prague authorities have just decided to rent the historical building to the Jan and Meda Mládek Foundation, which will turn it into the Voskovec and Werich Arts and Social Centre in honour of the great Czech acting duo.
Archeologists says they have found a rare burial site in Prague dating from the seventh or eighth century BC. The two graves apparently belonged to highly placed members of society given the rich hoard of effects found in the burial chambers. The effects include the remains of the burial carriage and equipment used by horses during the iron age. Only one similar burial site to the latest discovery at Letňany has been made previously in Prague and that was more than a century ago.
Novelist Alex Vella Gera made headlines in his native Malta in 2009 when he found himself in court over a short story deemed obscene by the authorities. The piece had been written several years earlier, during a spell the writer – then in his 20s – spent living in Prague in the second half of the 1990s. Vella Gera has just been back in the Czech capital for the first time since then for a short visit. When he came into our studios, I asked what for him had been the appeal of ‘90s Prague.
Wednesday marked the 85th anniversary of automatic traffic lights in Prague. The lights were first introduced on one of the roads intersecting Wenceslas Square and the innovation was not without controversy; pedestrians complained that it kept them waiting too long. There are now 640 traffic lights in the capital, the number almost doubling since 1989. Intelligent traffic lights which react to traffic flows should be installed across the capital by 2022.
Some 300 people attended a protest against Islam on Prague’s Hradčany Square on Friday evening. The event was organized by the group We Do Not Want Islam in the Czech Republic who have been increasingly vocal in protesting the presence of Muslims in the country. Among those who attended the gathering were a number of politicians, including deputy chair of the Dawn party Marek Černoch, Civic Democrat MP Jana Černochova and Senator Jaroslav Doubrava. The protest passed without incident.
Police investigating the case of a young American who fell from Prague’s Hlavkov Bridge into the Vltava River and suffered serious injuries have asked potential witnesses to come forward. They are in particular looking for the man who left the American’s wallet and IDs but ran off before the police could question him. The incident happened on New Year’s Eve. The young man fell into the river and was apparently able to swim to shore but because the place was deserted he was left lying helpless in the freezing cold for ten hours before passers-by noticed him. Police say the fall may have been preceded by a fight. The American remains in a coma in hospital.
Czechs are marking the 46th anniversary of the death of student Jan Palach who set himself on fire in protest against the growing public apathy to the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia. People have been laying flowers and lighting candles at the Palach memorial stone at the top end of Wenceslas Square where he set himself on fire and a special commemorative event is taking place at the Philosophical Faculty of Charles University on Jan Palach Square. The ensemble of the National Theatre is holding a scenic evening entitled 1969 – The Ice Age.
The first 100 copies of the French satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo arrived in the Czech Republic on Friday morning and promptly sold out, a representative of a news stand firm offering the publication, told the Czech News Agency. The magazine, whose office in Paris was the target of a terrorist attack last week, has been available only in Prague so far, she added. One copy cost 140 crowns. Apart from the airport and the main railway station, copies were delivered to a central shopping centre, several news stands, and a metro station retailer. An addional supply of the weekly is to be sold in the Czech Republic next week. According to available information, about 300,000 copies of Charlie Hebdo have been sent to about 25 countries. The new issue with another caricature of the Prophet Muhammad was published exactly a week after radicals killed 12 people in the weekly's office in Paris, including its editor-in-chief and leading cartoonists.