Today in Mailbox: sausage stands on Wenceslas Square in Prague, the number of letters and e-mails Radio Prague receives annually, the highest mountain in the Czech Republic, the 17th-century Prague opera diva Josephina Dušek. Listeners quoted: Mark Guy, Mostafa Kamal, Sanusi Isah Dankaba, Ashraful Islam, Vinc Wesley Dusek, Greg MacDonald.
Prague is one of the best preserved cities in Europe, and it is not unusual to come across a striking variety of architectural styles – from Baroque to functionalism – in the space of a few minutes. But how has the Czech capital fared when it comes to contemporary architecture? It is the subject of a new exhibition entitled The New Face of Prague, which has just opened at the city’s Czech Centre.
There was plenty going on on Prague’s Wenceslas Square this week – and a lot at stake. While at the top end of the square people were signing petitions against the siting of a US radar in the Czech Republic, at its lower end a sausage vendor was fighting his own battle against the town hall’s decision to get him evicted.
The UNESCO’s World Heritage Committee appreciated Prague’s care for its historic centre. At its session in Quebec, Canada on Sunday, the committee approved Prague’s monument care activities and also praised its reports on monument preservation in the Czech capital. Prague City Hall has recently come under criticism for a lack of respect for the character of its architectural heritage. Prague’s historic centre is one of 12 Czech monuments registered in the UNESCO List of World Heritage while another one – the spa of Luhačovice in eastern Moravia – has applied for inscription on the World Heritage List.
For the next three months visitors will have an unparalleled opportunity to view work by famous 20th century Czech photographer Václav Chochola, at Prague Castle. Part of the Maximum Photography series, the show features large scan prints of some of the late artist’s best known photographs – from moody industrial landscapes to portraits to more experimental work.
Tuesday saw the visit of Andrew Cahn, the Chief Executive of UK Trade and Investment to Prague. The visit comes amidst increasing economic co-operation between Britain and the Czech Republic. Dominik Jun met Mr Cahn whilst he was conducting a tour of the reconstruction of Charles Bridge – itself a project contracted out to a British firm. He began by asking Mr Cahn to explain the work of UK Trade and Investment and the reasons for his visit here.
A new decree comes into effect in Prague on Tuesday which will see those who drop cigarette ends or chewing gum fined up to 30,000 crowns (nearly 2,000 USD). The decree is part of Prague City Hall’s bid to clean up the capital, but opponents say that the edict has not been properly publicized, and that tourists remain largely uninformed. Police will be given powers to hand out on-the-spot, thousand-crown, fines to those caught littering, feeding the pigeons and not cleaning up the soap suds after washing their cars. As punishment for larger infringements, individuals will be referred to the authorities.
In Business News this week: Hundreds of Czechs are laid off as firms are hit by the strength of the crown; household electricity prices are set to rise again; Prague readies itself for one of the biggest urban development projects the country has ever seen; Burger King is expanding into the Czech market; there are over 17,000 dollar millionaires in the Czech Republic, and retro Tatra cars make a comeback.
Jana Ciglerová: Americans say their lives are fantastic, Czechs say everything is terrible – neither is true
Study: Demand for new flats in Prague set to keep outstripping supply
“There is good, better and then there is the USSR.” – New book depicts life in communist Czechoslovakia through memories of people who experienced it
CzechTourism head hints attracting tourists no longer agency’s main goal
“The only solution is political” – Organisers of major anti-government protests in Czechia announce plans for the future