It is not in the nature of Miroslav Janek to make plans. The film director and editor believes in coincidence. Things happen, days go by and bring along the subjects of his documentaries. The very last 'coincidence' happened, when he was invited to take a look at the lives of Czech orphans. It led to the short movie Chacipe. This meaningless word was made up by children from a Czech orphanage, who are the film's stars, and also co-directors.
We often hear about who's going to be the next big thing in pop music, but for the world of classical music, the young artists who represent the future often don't receive the same kind of publicity. However, as the international Concertino Praga contest for young musicians reaches its 40th anniversary year, recognition of these rising performers is undoubtedly increasing. The winners of the competition were announced on Tuesday, and Chris Jarrett went along to find out more about the up-and-coming stars of the Czech classical music scene.
Last week saw the opening of a major exhibition devoted to the 14th century king and emperor, Charles IV, at Prague Castle. It brings together priceless works from dozens of museums in fifteen countries, and covers not only the reign of Charles IV himself, but the whole period when the Luxembourg dynasty ruled the Czech lands in the 14th and 15th centuries. But some objects from that time were simply too large to be transported to Prague Castle. They are on show at a separate exhibition at the National Museum's Lapidarium in Prague 7.
Rudolf Smid captured the imagination of the Czech photography world in 2005 when his photographic collections entitled "The Scarecrows" and "Close to life, closer to death", which focussed on the personalities of scarecrows around the Czech Republic, were exhibited in Prague's Louvre Gallery. Now, for the first time in 2006, Smid returns to the capital with a new collection, but his subject matter is no less peculiar. Chris Jarrett explains why.
Already it is being called the cultural event of 2006 as well as one of the most important exhibitions in Prague ever: Charles IV: Emperor by the Grace of God, now open at Prague Castle. The exhibition, which had a first leg run at New York's Metropolitan Museum in the autumn, brings together rare works from more than 90 galleries, museums, and private collections in 15 countries, capturing the period between 1347 and 1437 - the time of the Luxemburg dynasty.
In today's Arts we look at a project now on view at Prague's Galerie Rudolfinum, an exhibit of 70 large format photographs by Czech photographer Vaclav Jirasek. Titled Industria, the exhibition maps the decay of major industrial facilities that are part of this country's industrial heritage, once massive factories filled with countless workers, now falling into states of decay. In the pictures, steel shrugs off brick, slag is heaped up, and forgotten machinery dominates. Dust-filled light falls upon empty hallways, and old posters or instructions
There are probably few movie-lovers unaware that the filming of the new James Bond movie Casino Royale is underway in Prague with a brand-new 007: Daniel Craig. Wednesday, though, was the first time the actor appeared officially before reporters, flanked by the film's director Martin Campbell and actress Judi Dench, who plays Bond's hard-as-nails boss 'M'. Radio Prague's Jan Velinger was at the event, and joins us in the studio to give his impressions.
The majestic building of Prague's National Museum, standing on top of Wenceslas Square, opened in 1891 to provide a dignified home for the institution, founded in 1818. What was a quiet, leafy area a hundred years ago is now the busiest place in Prague. With congested motorways on both sides of the building and two metro lines crossing right underneath it the National Museum building is suffering considerably.
The Charles Bridge is undoubtedly one of Prague's most visited tourist sights, with around 20 million visitors crossing it every year. Having survived the floods which swept the city in 2002, the magnificent Gothic structure is currently in need of restoration to ensure its safety and to preserve it for future generations. But such a project is not without controversy, potentially affecting visitors at the height of the tourist season.
Around the world people are celebrating St Valentine's Day, the traditional day of lovers. But did you know that the Church of SS Peter and Paul in Prague's Vyšehrad may be home to a relic of the famous saint? Four years ago the Royal Collegiate Chapter of SS Peter and Paul uncovered several forgotten Baroque shrines in its depository; it was surprised to find one relic - a complete shoulder blade - had belonged to none other than the patron saint of lovers. Last year, the church held a mass in St Valentine's honour - displaying the relic - and