Compact archive March 28, 2007

New director general hopes to improve public transport in Prague

Prague tram The Prague Public Transit Co. has a new director general. His name is Martin Dvorak and he used to be a head of the commercial TV Prima. His aim is to make the public transport more effective.

There was an organizational audit in the Prague Public Transport Co. and it revealed, that about 1000 employees should be fired. The company gets about one third from the budget of the City of Prague. The new director general hopes, that he can ensure more vehicles and more restored stations for such money.

Among the things, that need to be improved, is for example the lack of ticket machines on the stations of public transport or the too old trams in service in Prague.


Employees of Prague public transport have to learn English

You may already experienced it yourself: you needed an advice about the public transport in Prague or about the location of historical monuments. You asked a driver of a tram or an inspector, who checks the tickets, but you found out, that none of them speaks any foreign language.

This should change soon. Prague Public Transit Co. wants to improve the image of the city by teaching its employees to speak English. Not just the inspectors, but also the employees of public transport information centres and employees of the underground stations will learn English for 24 weeks. The inspectors have to learn also German.

This project, which should improve the service to passengers, costs about 3.5 million Czech crowns and it is fully financed by the EU. Overall, about 1.3 million tourists from abroad use the Prague public transport per year.


Villa Bilek in Prague will be restored soon

Villa Bilek, a unique Art-Noveau – symbolist building in Prague, will be restored in the coming two years. There will be new expositions inside and the villa will be lit in the night.

Villa Bilek is situated near the Prague Castle. It was built in 1911 by Frantisek Bilek, an artist, sculptor, graphic artist and religious thinker. The building is exceptional because of its rare symbolist style. There are Bilek´s works of art exhibited inside and also the interior of the villa is valuable. Bilek´s atelier is accessible to the public as well.

The building is in bad condition, so it will be renewed: the facade, the balcony and the balustrade will be restored. There will be a new centre about Frantisek Bilek and a study hall for the public. The overgrown garden will be modified, too.

You can find Villa Bilek in the Mickiewiczova Street 1, Prague 6.


The world´s largest scenographic exhibition in Prague

Prague Quadrennial, a big exhibition of stage design and theater architecture, will take place in Prague in June 2007. It will be an international competition of scenographers from 58 countries and the winner will receive the Golden Triga award.

The expositions will be placed in the Industrial Palace in the area of Prague Exhibition Grounds. There will be a section of national expositions, a students´section and a section of architecture and technology. Live shows will accompany the expositions the whole day.

Some events will also take place in the streets of Prague: there will be interactive installations, parades, fashion shows and various performances.

This unique opportunity to see current theater trends is intended not just for professionals, but for the general public as well. Visitors will have a chance to participate on some parts of the program.

Prague Quadrennial will be held between 14th and 24th June and a one-day ticket costs 120,- Czech crowns.


Police swoop at the Ministry of Defense

There was a police swoop at the Czech Ministry of Defense yesterday. About 180 detectives were searching for evidence of corruption on many workplaces of the ministry in the whole republic.

There is a suspicion, that employees of the Ministry of Defence rigged competitive tenders of the army. The tenders were for reconstruction and sale of the army´s real estate and their value was estimated at about half a milliard of Czech crowns.

Police also made a house search in the homes of those suspected. They are an organized group of people, arranging the frauds together and then sharing the profit. There are at least 10 people suspected.

Suspicion of corruption often accompanies army tenders. After all, the Czech Republic is a country with a high rate of corruption generally.