Václav Havel Street inauguration in Luxembourg marks symbolic end to Czech EU presidency

A new street dedicated to the late Czech president, dissident and playwright Václav Havel was unveiled in Luxembourg on Tuesday. The ceremony, marking a symbolic end to the Czech presidency of the EU Council, was attended by Czech Prime Minister Petr Fiala and his Luxembourg counterpart Xavier Bettel.

Dozens of people gathered in the Kirchberg district in Luxembourg on Tuesday to see the unveiling of Rue Václav Havel, a street named after the world-renowned dissident, playwright and former Czechoslovak and Czech president.

The street was inaugurated by Czech Prime Minister Petr Fiala, who said it was a great honour to have a street named after Václav Havel in Luxembourg. He also said it was proof that his  government’s decision to build on the legacy of Václav Havel in its foreign policy was the right one.

The street in Luxembourg’s Kirchberg neighbourhood also features an interactive installation by Czech artist Jiří David highlighting Havel’ famous quote “Truth and Love Must Prevail over Lies and Hatred”, which he first used in a speech on Wenceslas Square in December 1989.

The installation has the form of a small pillar, made with fragments of rough concrete, from which the authentic voice of Václav Havel can be heard at the press of a button. It also has a QR code that translates his words into other languages.

In their speeches, both Petr Fiala and Xavier Bettel highlighted Havel’s legacy in the fight against totalitarianism. According to the Czech prime minister, the statement doesn’t suggest that the victory of humanist values is rapid or easy, but rather that  totalitarianism and authoritarianism are internally unstable and that the spirit of democracy and freedom will always defeat them.

The ceremony marked the symbolic end to the Czech Presidency of the Council of the EU, which will officially conclude on December 31.

Author: Ruth Fraňková
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