News More Czech institutions get Google Open Gallery treatment

01-07-2014 14:11 | Ian Willoughby

Nine more galleries and museums in the Czech Republic have been given a virtual online presence through Google Cultural Institute technology. Prague’s Kampa Museum and the National Gallery were already accessible via the system, which puts institutions’ collections online as well as creating virtual tours of the spaces in question. They have been joined by the Václav Havel Library, Prague’s Jewish Museum, the Moravian Gallery in Brno and six other institutions.

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Prague marks 70th anniversary of Prague Uprising

05-05-2015 13:46 updated | Daniela Lazarová

The Czech capital is marking the 70th anniversary of the Prague Uprising. On May 5th of 1945 Prague citizens rose up against the collapsing Nazi regime and some 3,000 people were killed in the fighting before Russian troops liberated the city four days later. A commemorative ceremony attended by Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka took place at Czech Radio, which played a crucial role in the uprising. Later in the day there will be celebrations and a video mapping on Old Town Square and a concert for 1,800 people at Prague’s Congress Centre. 

Government agency for social inclusion threatening strike action

05-05-2015 13:44 | Daniela Lazarová

Employees of the Czech government agency for social inclusion are threatening to go on strike unless they are granted a greater degree of independence. They have appealed to the prime minister asking him to intervene in the matter and complaining that under the Minister for Human Rights and Minorities Jiří Dienstbier the agency’s management has become increasingly politicized. Minister Dienstbier recently sacked the agency’s head Martin Šimáček citing poor communication and the fact that Mr. Šimáček had refused to discuss a planned reorganization. The human rights minister has dismissed the complaints as absurd saying the agency’s employees should make up their minds whether they want to stay or leave. 

President Zeman to meet with President Putin

05-05-2015 12:45 | Daniela Lazarová

Czech President Miloš Zeman who is to attend the end-of war celebrations in Moscow on Saturday is to meet for talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin. According to the president’s office the hour-long meeting scheduled for Saturday evening is expected to focus on economic issues and the situation in Ukraine. The Czech president will not be attending the military parade on Red Square. He will join other foreign dignitaries in laying a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at the Kremlin wall and will be meeting with war veterans. 

Number of anti-Semitic incidents on the rise

05-05-2015 11:16 | Daniela Lazarová

The number of anti-Semitic incidents in the Czech Republic has increased five-fold in the last four years, according to the Jewish Community in Prague. The community says it recorded 234 anti-Semitic incidents last year, including physical attacks on individuals, hate speech and vandalism at Jewish cemeteries and synagogues. Although the police have registered fewer incidents, a spokeswoman for the Jewish community says this is because they only register anti-Semitic incidents involving crime. 

Foreign Minister says president will back policy roadmap

05-05-2015 09:38 | Jan Velinger

Foreign Minister Lubomír Zaorálek, in a policy debate in Prague on Monday, said Czech President Miloš Zeman has read – and will approve – a new proposed foreign policy concept. The foreign minister is to officially unveil the new foreign policy road map by the end of July. If it is passed by the government it will still have to be approved by Parliament. An earlier draft was criticised for taking a soft stance on human rights and veering away from principles championed by the late ex-president and former dissident Václav Havel. Mr Zaorálek said he wanted to “work with” Mr Havel’s human rights legacy. 

Hockey: Czech team loses to Canada at Worlds

05-05-2015 06:14 | Jan Velinger

The Czech Republic lost 6-3 to Canada at the Ice Hockey World Championship in Prague on Monday in a contest which was close for the first two periods. The Czechs managed to tie the game briefly in the second at two goals apiece but Canada scored soon after and dominated in the third. Canada has not lost a point in the tournament so far, the host team Czechs picked up four points in an earlier win and loss in overtime; the squad faces France next. 

Czech-Bavarian exhibition to highlight life of Charles IV next year

04-05-2015 17:17 | Jan Velinger

A Czech-Bavarian exhibition in Prague and Nuremberg will highlight the life of Charles IV, king of Bohemia and Holy Roman emperor on the 700th anniversary of his birth next year, the Czech and Bavarian culture ministers, Daniel Herman and Ludwig Spaenle announced in Prague on Monday. Herman and Spaenle signed a memorandum on cooperation in the field of culture. The exhibition is being organised by the National Gallery in Prague together with the Nuremberg-based Museum of Bavarian History and German National Museum. The Czech cabinet will discuss the project, including its financing and the appointment of a Czech commissioner, at its meeting on Wednesday. The exhibition, which has been under preparation for the last three years, will focus on Charles IV (1316-1378) and his period, but will also highlight developments in Bohemia and Bavaria since Charles IV´s era to the present. 

PM Sobotka calls for fast rail link to Berlin

04-05-2015 16:56 | Jan Velinger

Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka has called for the Czech Republic and Germany to back a high rail link between Prague and Berlin. Sobotka’s call came in a meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Berlin on Monday. As well as the fast link to Berlin, Prague is also pushing for a high speed rail link to Munich. Critics point out though that the current plans only commit to an upgrade of the existing rail route and not a specially built stretch of track that could take the fastest trains. Separately, the Czech prime minister said that the D8 motorway link to Dresden from the Czech capital should be finished in 2018 after a missing Czech section is completed. He also said Prague is in favour of the Elbe river remaining navigable all the way to the North Sea. Chancellor Merkel said that the environmental aspects of this still have to be considered but a standpoint should be taken in the next years. 

Hockey: Czech team holding two spots on roster

04-05-2015 16:47 | Jan Velinger

The coach of the Czech national hockey team, Vladimír Růžička, is reportedly leaving two spots open on the squad’s roster at the Worlds in Prague and Ostrava for additional players. A member of the coaching staff told Czech TV that members were hoping Montreal Canadiens’ forward Tomáš Plekanec might be available – if his team failed to advance to the next round of the Stanley Cup playoffs. Montreal dug itself into a hole against the Tampa Bay Lightning on Sunday and now trails 2:0 in their best-of-seven series heading back to Tampa. Some contact has been made but the team’s assistant coach Ondřej Weissmann made clear the matter was being handled with a light touch, as Plekanec’s main focus was to help his hockey club. The 32-year-old forward and his wife, Czech pop singer Lucie Vondráčková, are also expecting their second child in the coming days. 

Trust in European Union highest in four years

04-05-2015 16:25 | Jan Velinger

Trust in the European Union among Czechs at the beginning of April was the highest in four years, a poll by the CVVM agency suggests. Fifty-two percent of respondents replied in the affirmative – up from 49 percent a year ago. The polling agency reported that trust in the EU had slowly shifted away from the mood in the years 2009 – 2012. That period coincided with centre-right governments in the country and the second presidency of Václav Klaus, who has long been highly critical of the EU, specifically greater federalization. 

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