In this week’s Panorama: how walled-in windows can be a big attraction, the Vltava river gets a symbolic lighthouse and, the nation’s fierce one-eyed commander is back on his horse on Vítkov Hill - facing a new enemy.
“No one specifically stated that the paintings should depict mysterious figures living in the house, though these have proved to be extremely popular. Artists could paint whatever they considered fitting – and then the house owners selected from the available works what they thought would most suit their house.”
“There is no pressure on house-owners –it is entirely up to them whether they want to be part of this. The paintings used are not originals, but copies made to order and covered with a special folio to protect them from dust and adverse weather conditions. The original paintings are displayed at the town hall.”
The locals find the idea charming and tourists stop to take pictures.
Man: “I think it is really nice – it gives the town more colour.”
Man: “I think it is a charming idea.”
The EU-funded Plener workshop has a fifteen year tradition, but never before have the works produced been seen by such a wide audience or given so much enjoyment.
“It is the first lighthouse on the river that is fully functional and it serves its purpose well. Boaters who are not familiar with the territory often have problems finding their way into port in the dark and, in fact, the reason why we decided to build it is that in the past few months three motor boats were damaged in the vicinity because of problems coming to land.”
Roman Kelbich who came up with the idea of building a lighthouse on the river has been appointed its keeper by the members of the two boating clubs who dock some sixty boats on the island. Equipped with a strong led light, it needs very little maintenance for the time being. In the event of a power failure the light would automatically be powered by an emergency power generator and its flashing light is visible from a 5-kilometer distance. Unless of course there is a flood –in which case the lighthouse would most likely disappear from view.
According to a recent police report thieves in north- east Bohemia have now moved into higher gear, targeting bronze plaques, busts and statues and none of the country’s greats are spared. In fact the bigger they are the greater the temptation. Police in Hradec Kralove are now investigating the theft of a 200-kilo bronze statue that disappeared overnight. How thieves could possibly have loaded it onto a truck unnoticed is a mystery. The town of Ostromeř has also reported a missing life-size statue. Some town mayors have given up replacing missing plaques and busts with bronze replicas and are getting fake copies made of hardened plastic materials. The town of Javorník has put its bronze bust of president T.G.Masaryk under lock and key and has replaced it with a fake copy. Bronze plaques of war heroes suffer the same fate –going into storage to be replaced by cheap replicas.