Arts news

Michal Pechoucek: Readers

Festival of Czech films starts in London. Chalupecky Society presents annual award. Czech Republic to finance maintenance of Komensky Museum in Naarden.

Festival of Czech films starts in London

A festival of Czech films called the "New Bohemians" started in London on Thursday. After the capital of the United Kingdom the festival will travel to eight other cities. The festival opened with the film "Pupendo" directed by Jan Hrebejk and will show 11 feature films whose common theme is the life of today's Czechs and a humorous attitude to relationships. The festival will last in London until November 23 before moving to Bradford, Brighton, Bristol, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Manchester, Nottingham and Stoke on Trent.

Chalupecky Society presents annual award

The Jindrich Chalupecky Society granted its annual prize, the Jindrich Chalupecky Award to 30-year-old painter and video artist Michal Pechoucek on Thursday at the Futura Gallery in Prague. The prize named after the Czech art critic Jindrich Chalupecky is meant to encourage and help young artists. The runners up were Kristof Kintera, Jan Mancuska, Jan Serych, and Michaela Thelenova. The award was handed to Michal Pechoucek by former Czech president Vaclav Havel who together with artists Theodor Pistek and Jiri Kolar founded it in 1990. Together with the award the winner gets a six-week stay in New York and 50,000 crowns as a support of his further artistic development. The Jindich Chalupecky Society together with the Culture Ministry also provides the winner with funds for a new project or publishing a catalogue.

Czech Republic to finance maintenance of Komensky Museum in Naarden

The Czech Republic will sponsor the maintenance and operation of the Museum of Jan Amos Komensky in the Dutch town of Naarden. Jan Amos Komensky, also known as Comenius, was a great 17th-century Czech thinker, philosopher, writer and pioneer of education. After the defeat of the Protestant nobility at the Battle of White Mountain in 1620, Komensky, like many other non-Catholics, was forced to leave the Czech lands. He died in exile in 1670. Prime Minister Vladimir Spidla on Thursday asked Culture Minister Pavel Dostal to start negotiations with Naarden representatives regarding preservation of the Komensky Museum and mausoleum. The museum was facing closure as the Naarden town hall could no longer afford its operation costs. The Czech Republic is expecting to pay 80.000 euro annually for the upkeep and operation of the museum of its great native.