News Police investigate case of apparent vandalism in which works by contemporary artists were damaged

11-03-2014 10:33 | Jan Velinger

Police are investigating damage to paintings stored at the castle in Valtice near Břeclav, the site of symposia since the mid-1990s until 2005. Some 50 works by contemporary Czech artists were apparently vandalised, either slashed or knocked out of their frames. The crime was only just discovered. Police also believe that some original works may also be missing. Works stored at the castle included a painting by tattooed composer and former presidential candidate Vladimír Franz.

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Over 80,000 tickets sold at Karlovy Vary International Film Festival

07-07-2015 12:39 | Ruth Fraňková

Over 80,000 tickets have been sold so far at the 50th Karlovy Vary International Film festival which is underway in the West Bohemian spa town. According to the film festival’s press department, nearly 11.000 people accredited for the event and more than 200 screenings have already taken place. The audience poll is headed by Paolo Sorrentino’s Youth, followed by Czech film Domácí péče or Home Care by debuting screenwriter and director Slávek Horák. The festival runs until Saturday. 

Tennis: all Czech singles knocked out of Wibledon

07-07-2015 12:33 | Ruth Fraňková

All Czech tennis players were knocked out of the Wimbledon singles competitions after the last two Czech hopes, Lucie Šafářová and Tomáš Berdych, lost their fourth-round matches on Sunday. The French Open runner up Lucie Šafářová was beaten by unseeded American Coco Wandeweghe 6:7, 6:7 and Tomáš Berdych lost to Gilles Simon of France 3:6, 3:6, 2:6. Šafářová remains at Wimbledon competing in doubles with US partner Bethanie Mattek-Sand, after easing past the British duo of Jocelyn Rae and Anna Smith 6:3, 6:0. 

Medical expert in Kramný case says daughter died as a result of heart failure brought on by an electric shock

07-07-2015 09:52 | Daniela Lazarová

A medical expert called to give testimony in the case Petr Kramný, who is accused of killing his wife and ten-year-old daughter while their were holidaying in Egypt in 2013, told the court on Tuesday that he was convinced that Kramný’s daughter died as a result of sudden heart failure brought on by an electric shock. Marek Dokoupil who performed an autopsy on the child’s body after it was brought back to the Czech Republic said all his findings supported the theory that ten-year-old Klára died after getting a strong electric charge. The state attorney has accused Kramný of killing his wife and daughter by means of an electric shock. Klára is thought to have died after grabbing hold of her mother. Kramný denies the accusations and is sticking to his original story that all three of them suffered food poisoning and he alone recovered. 

Supreme Audit Office finds serious irregularities in work of State Fund for Transport Infrastructure

07-07-2015 08:57 | Daniela Lazarová

An inspection by the Supreme Audit Office has revealed serious irregularities in the work of the State Fund for Transport Infrastructure, the ctk news agency reported. According to inspectors the fund spent 3.5 million crowns on outsourcing for work which was meant to have been done by its own staff. Moreover the work was commissioned without tenders. The fund has not yet responded to the accusations. 

Six people drowned, many collapsed in tropical heatwave

06-07-2015 18:00 | Daniela Lazarová

Six people drowned in the course of the three-day weekend, a police spokeswoman told the ctk news agency. The tragic statistics are believed to be the result of a combination of alcohol and the tropical heatwave that hit the Czech Republic several days ago. The health authorities also reported an increased number of emergency calls to people who collapsed in the heat. People have been advised to increase their intake of liquids and restrict physical activities until the heat abates. Temperatures are expected to drop by about ten degrees on Wednesday. 

PM says government committed to improving conditions for Czech filmmakers

06-07-2015 16:46 | Daniela Lazarová

Meeting with Czech filmmakers at the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival, Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka reaffirmed his government’s commitment to securing stable financial support for Czech cinematography as of next year. A proposed amendment to the audiovisual law approved by the government last week should bring the State Cinematography Fund annual state subsidies of up to 390 million crowns as of 2016. The money should enable Czech filmmakers to launch more ambitious projects and co-productions and make better use of the potential of the Czech film industry. Another fundamental change concerns the provision of film incentives for foreign crews, part of a long-term effort to bring Prague back on the list of Europe’s most attractive film destinations alongside London, Berlin and Budapest. The bill has yet to be debated in Parliament but the coalition’s comfortable majority in the lower house should ensure its smooth passage. 

Crown strengthens briefly on Greek NO vote

06-07-2015 15:02 | Daniela Lazarová

The Czech crown strengthened to the euro briefly on the Greek “No” vote breaking through the 27 crown margin set by the central bank and selling at 26.80 to the euro. Within an hour it returned to its former level at 27.12 crowns per euro. The ctk news agency says it is not clear if the central bank intervened on foreign markets. The bank has been keeping the crown in check with forex interventions since 2013 and says the interventions will continue until 2016. 

Jan Hus celebrations highlight reformer priest’s legacy

06-07-2015 14:49 | Daniela Lazarová

The Czech Republic is marking the 600th anniversary of the burning at stake of reformer priest Jan Hus with numerous events highlighting his legacy. Masses have been celebrated around the country, among others in Jan Hus’ birthplace Husinec and at Bethlehem chapel in Prague, where the reformer priest preached. The chapel had a new bell cast in Hus’ memory which will first rang on the 600th anniversary of his martyr’s death at the stake and a special installation was unveiled on the side wall of the chapel –a sign reading For the Truth which can only be seen in sunny weather –a reminder of the fact that the truth is sometimes hidden. Over the past two days people have been able to attend theatre performances, debates, concerts and film screenings dedicated to the reformer priest and on Monday night a candlelit procession from Old Town Square to the Vltava River will pay tribute to his memory. 

Czech economists say Greek “No” will worsen country’s negotiating position

06-07-2015 12:08 | Daniela Lazarová

The Greek "No" in Sunday’s referendum will not improve the negotiating position of the government of Alexis Tsipras, according to Czech economists. David Marek, from Deloitte, said the "No" vote was a sad result. The Greek government and citizens are mistaken if they believe that by rejecting the bailout terms they will achieve softer conditions, Marek said, adding that the opposite is true. Marek said there is only one alternative to the rescue plan - the Argentinian path, the state declaring itself bankrupt, high inflation and lowering of the living standard. Lukáš Kovanda, from the Roklen financial group, said the position of the European Central Bank in providing cash for Greece would most likely worsen due to the "no" vote, which considerably increased the possibility of Greece leaving the euro zone. If the ECB decides that the guarantees that Greek banks provide in exchange for the loans are not sufficient, a banking collapse is likely to come and Greece will have to issue its own currency, even if only as a temporary alternative to the euro, Kovanda said. 

Havel’s Place unveiled in Karlovy Vary

06-07-2015 11:52 | Daniela Lazarová

An outdoor seating arrangement known as Havel’s Place was unveiled in the west Bohemian spa town of Karlovy Vary on Sunday as a tribute to the late Czech president. The event took place within the framework of the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival and was attended by Vaclav Havel’s widow Dagmar. The seating arrangement – made up two garden seats with a round table and a linden tree to cast shade -was designed by Bořek Šípek, a celebrated Czech artist and architect who was a close friend of Havel's and has already been set up in memory of the president in nine countries around the world. The very first was unveiled in Washington D.C. 

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