Sculptor David Cerny’s “Hanging Man” causes a panic in Grand Rapids, Michigan. A young man climbs up Prague’s famous astronomical clock to win a bet! And ski resorts in the south Bohemian mountain range are working around the clock to make artificial snow for Prague. Find out more in Magazine with Daniela Lazarova.
There aren’t many places in Prague where you have a bigger audience than around the famous astronomical clock or ‘Orloj’ on Old Town Square. One of the city’s most famous sites is constantly surrounded by crowds of tourists with cameras at the ready to document to procession of apostles on the hour. This week they got a bigger show than expected, when a young man started climbing up the tower clock. He was halfway up the first clock-face, swinging for greater effect, when the police and fire crew arrived. Photographers and tourists snapped like mad as the firemen extended a ladder and one of them went up to bring the practical joker down. The twenty-six-year old man, who was sober at the time, said he’d gone up for a bet. The Prague Town Hall has just invested eight million crowns into a camera system that would monitor Prague’s most famous tourist attractions. Such a system is already operating on Charles Bridge. Every statue is now under close surveillance and in the event of any transgression police can be on the spot in less than a minute. The astronomical clock, the Jan Hus statue and other sites in Prague will be under surveillance as of next year, which means that the Orloj spider man is unlikely to have a successor.
Then again there are more departed famous people who might have a complaint or two to make in that department. A recently unveiled larger-than-life statue in the spa town of Karlovy Vary is meant to be the country’s first president Tomas Garrigue Masaryk, but the joke bandied around town is that Lenin is back. The similarity with Lenin is striking and many visitors raise their eyebrows before walking up close to read the inscription. The considerable Russian minority in Karlovy Vary is vastly amused – but the locals are shaking their heads in disbelief. They had long pushed for a statue of Masaryk to be erected, since the much loved first president was a frequent visitor to Karlovy Vary, but now they feel that they got a bit more than they bargained for. The Lenin clone towers above them and unlike the real statues of Lenin – this one will not be easy to remove.
There are more ways to spice up your sex life than with a pair of handcuffs – in the Czech Republic you can now get underwear with the official logo of the Czech police. This latest fashion in underwear has shocked the police presidium which claims that this use of their logo is not only illegal but ridicules everything that the police stands for. A spokesman said the police would “analyze the situation and take appropriate action”. Whatever that means, the police panties and underpants have only been given more publicity and are reportedly selling like hot cakes.