President Vaclav Klaus' essay on Kaplicky's Blob library

Vaclav Havel, the ex-president of the Czech Republic, has criticized Klaus’ attitude to the building of National Library, by publishing an essay on this topic. The present president Vaclav Klaus has answered – by an essay. The following article is a shortened transcript of Vaclav Klaus’ piece, published in MF DNES.

vaclav klaus see kaplicky attacking democracy Vaclav Klaus: I have already stated my opinion on the construction of the new National Library Blob earlier, and I don’t wish to change it. Neither I wish to interfere to the technically-administrative arguments, whether the project comes up to the terms of assignment or not.

I just want, as a Prague citizen, point out it is a debate about ‘the handling of Prague’. The often mentioned comparison of the Blob project with the Dancing house is erroneous, because it was a case of one block of one street.

What is much more important: we get again into an argument of the very foundation of our democracy, about decision making in public matters. This whole dispute is about private and public property. If a private submitter orders a construction, nobody will ever infirm he has the right to say whether he likes the design or not. And if he wants to carry it out, or not. Concerning the public constructions, it is not possible to say it is the opposite; it is not possible to say, that the decision about the project is a matter of professionals, or even a professional.

If I am not mistaken, it has never happened that an architect would enter a public decision-making like in this case. It is necessary to realize one trivial thing – the decision making of The professional committee is about the design itself. Decision about the building realization, financed from public sources, is a different matter. To not differ those two fact would be a fatally wrong.

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