Uncertainty as Klinika “cultural centre” site sold to Railway Administration
An abandoned property in northern Prague, adapted by squatters into a cultural and education centre, has been sold off by the state to the Railway Infrastructure Administration. The change of ownership raises the possibility that the current residents could face eviction.
Jan Trnka is a member of the Klinika collective. He expressed his surprise at the sale: “Without any kind of negotiation or agreement on whether to sell or not, the state simply transferred it to the Railway Administration. We are not entirely sure why this happened. And we are not sure that the Railway Administration even needs this building. But we will now try to negotiate with them with regards to staying at the site.”
Jan Trnka explains: “In addition to all these celebrities and politicians, we feel that the support of ordinary people both inside and outside Prague is more important for the project. We have huge numbers of supporters from all over the country, and even abroad. And that is something that is giving us the energy to fight on.”
In 2015, the centre even managed to secure a legal tenant agreement but this expired in March 2016. Since then, Klinika has faced “bomb threats” resulting in attempts by the police to again evacuate the site.
Jan Trnka says the matter is now before the courts: “There is an ongoing court case with the Czech state. The court is going to decide if the termination of our lease was legal or illegal. So that is one legal avenue we are taking. And we are trying to assert our, at least our moral right to stay in the building.”