Czech Centres' new director on future goals


There are currently 22 centres around the world where visitors can learn about the Czech Republic's history, economy, and culture. These Czech Centres are funded by the Foreign Ministry with a mission to foster dialogue with the public abroad and promote the country as a modern and dynamic state. The centres meet their goal with the help of various projects, ranging from literature readings to theatre performances. The Czech Centres now have a new director - Jaroslav Kanturek - and we spoke to him about his plans for the future:

Jaroslav Kanturek
"A Czech Centre should be open to the public. I think there is a difference between the official Czech Embassy and Czech Centres. We would like to promote our country to the people, invite younger people to discuss topics that aren't just official. A lot of our activities are oriented on culture and we still believe that culture is the best way how to open our doors and invite businessmen and investors to our country. Those who just want tourist information can come to our centres and see an exhibition too."

In what ways can the Czech Centres around the world be improved to make them serve their purpose even more effectively and efficiently?

"I think it is also very important that people meet other people. For example, when Czech artists or some people with interesting projects go abroad, they can meet other people and invite them back to Prague and gradually start an exchange of ideas and experiences, which benefits both sides. So, I think this is another thing that could be improved by our activities and our work."

A Czech Centre is just about to be opened in Beijing and another one is planned for Buenos Aires...

"Yes, they will be the two newest centres this year - in China and in Argentina. We could start to use some contacts that are already based there. We have a community of Czech origin in Argentina, who are preserving their nationality and customs. But we would really like to give the remaining public a new picture of the Czech Republic. So the centres are oriented on the public and not only on the Czech minorities or people of our country living abroad."

For more information on the Czech Centres' activities and projects, please visit the official website: