Compact archive March 9, 2007

'The wood of deserts' exhibition in Prague Botanical Garden

The Botanical Garden in Prague opens an interesting exhibition of photographs (and many artifacts) of trees that grow in one of the most hostile environment – deserts.

Czech expedition travelled to China, Syria, Jordan, Morocco, and North America and made there a series of photographs of trees that are able to survive high temperature and minimum of water. Visitors can also admire rock wood that are very special for those countries and climate conditions.

The exhibition is held from 10th to 25th March 2007. The photographs and artifacts are displayed in the Open Air Exhibition Hall daily from 9:00 to 17:00.


Dramatic discussions about St Vitus Cathedral in Prague

St Vitus Cathedral and Prague Castle St Vitus Cathedral in Prague is visited by about 4,000 people a day. It belongs among the most popular monuments in Prague. It also contains the graves of great Czech kings and princes. It is no wonder that media are interested in the discussions between the state and the Church about the ownership of the cathedral.

Even though the Supreme Court decided in favour of the state, the Church resists to hand over the cathedral. Visitors still have to wait for cancelling the entrance fee to the cathedral as promised by the state. Today’s meeting of the state and Church representatives led to the agreement about the tranfer of the cathedral, but it’s still not clear when it will happen.

The President of the Czech Republic, who is now visiting the USA, expressed his astonishment about the situation. He said that he was shocked by the dramatic discussions about the cathedral. As the president is not a participant of the litigation, he cannot intervene in the discussions.


Czech government wants to privatize CSA and Prague Airport

The Czech government plans to privatize air transport. By selling Czech Airline (CSA) and Czech International Airport Ruzyne in Prague, the state budged could get tens of milliards of Czech crowns.

CSA is now an unprofitable company, although its results are getting better. Czech international airport records profits more than a billion Czech crowns a year. After the expansion of runways in few years, the airport could be even more valuable for investors.

Prague International Airport served 11 millions passengers last year but still it doesn’t belong among the 30 largest airports in the world. The largest airport in the world is in Atlanta (followed by Chicago and London Heathrow). Prague Airport will have the direct connection with Atlanta from May 2007.

Dark clouds over Kaplicky's design of the National Library in Prague

The winner of Czech National Library Competition is already known for a week. The unique design of Jan Kaplicky and his studio Future System competed successfully with 748 architects and architectural teams.

However, there have already been some remarks about the regularity of the competition. The Czech Chamber of Architects claim that Kaplicky broke a binding condition of the competition when he had placed the storage place for more than 10 million books under the ground and not to the overground floors.

According to the director of the National Library in Prague Vlastimil Jezek, the project met all the requirements. What’s more Kaplicky’s design will protect the books perfectly. The storage space could be hermetically closed in several seconds.

Other people claim that the building will break the skyline of Prague. The 48 meters high library will be higher than the neighbouring buildings. Nevertheless, the library needs the building permit from the Department of Historical Monument Care and now it seems there will be no problems with that.


Festival Opera 2007 starts tonight

Several opera theatres from the Czech Republic will meet in Prague the coming 14 days to take part in festival Opera 2007. This festival is held every other year, this time already for eighth times.

Visitors can see 13 performances. It’s totally up to opera theatres what kind of music piece they will perform. The festival will be opened today by the performance Samson and Dalila by Camille Saint-Saens performed by the National Theathe in Prague. It will be finished by Leonard Bernstein’s Candide performed by the Prague State Opera on 24th March.

Although the participants will not compete, the best performances will be awarded. All prizes will be given at a gala concert in Prague State Opera on 3rd April. The prizes of the tickets for the performance range from 30 CZK to 590 CZK. Visitors can also buy a special ticket for at least 5 performances with 30% reduction.