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České Budějovice

Lavička VH Budějovice

  • address:: USB, Branišovská 1645 / 31a, České Budějovice, Czech Republic
  • installation date: June 11, 2014
  • foto:: Václav Havel Library / Ondřej Němec

At 11:00 on Wednesday 11 June, a Havel’s Place was ceremonially unveiled on the campus of the University of South Bohemia in České Budějovice. České Budějovice became the fifth city in the world, and the University of South Bohemia the second university (after Georgetown University in Washington), where the piece – two armchairs linked by a round table with a Linden tree growing through its centre – will remember the life and work of Václav Havel. Despite tropical weather, several hundred people attended the unveiling, chief among them academics, students and colleagues and friends of Václav Havel.

The Václav Havel Library was represented in České Budějovice by Karel Schwarzenberg, one of its founders, executive director Marta Smolíková and editor Anna Freimanová. Karel Hvížďala, who interviewed Václav Havel for the book Disturbing the Peace, spoke at the unveiling, as did Bořek Šípek, the designer of Havel’s Place. Honoured guests included Sister Angelika and Sister Evangelista, who looked after Václav Havel in the final days of his life; Bishop Jiří Paďour, who for years studied at the Theatre Faculty at the Academy of Performing Arts alongside Václav Havel; Martin Palouš, chairman of the board of directors of the Václav Havel Library and founder of the Václav Havel Center at Florida University; Petr Kolář, former Czech ambassador to Sweden, the USA and Russia; former MPs Jan Ruml, Martin Bursík and Kateřina Jacques; former presidential chancellor Ivo Mathé; and the honorary chairman of the Czech Academy of Sciences, Rudolf Zahradník.

Letter to Gustáv Husák – samizdat essay

„The overall question, then, is this: What profound intellectual and moral impotence will the nation suffer tomorrow, following the castration of its culture today? I fear that the baneful effects on society will outlast by many years the particular political interests that gave rise to them. So much more guilty, in the eyes of history, are those who have sacrificed the country’s spiritual future for the sake of their present power interests.“

Václav Havel:
Letter to Gustáv Husák – samizdat essay, April 8, 1975

What Price Human Rights?