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The Prague Acropolis

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  • Where: Václav Havel Library, Ostrovní 13, Prague 110 00
  • When: March 7, 2017, 19:00 – 21:00

Jože Plečnik came to Prague at the invitation of Jan Kotěra and taught at the Academy of Arts, Architecture and Design. At that time he was regarded as the most important Slavic architect, so it little wonder that President Masaryk chose him to renovate Prague Castle. Plečnik’s task was to turn a symbol of feudal power into a symbol of the new Czechoslovak state. In this way he became an architect of Czech (Czechoslovak) statehood, incorporating in his modifications to the castle’s courtyards and President Masaryk’s private quarters not only numerous humanist elements proclaimed as the values of the new republic, but also elements of Czech and Slovak folk heritage. He later made use of the experience he acquired in Prague in the changes he made to the Slovenian city of Ljubljana.

Martin C. Putna will host a talk with two renowned experts on Plečnik’s work, Damjan Prelovšek and Tomáš Valena.

The lecture takes place in cooperation with the Embassy of the Republic of Slovenia as part of Plečnik Year 2017, which marks the 145th anniversary of the great architect’s birth and the 60th anniversary of his death.

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Speech to Joint Session of the United States Congress, Washington

„We are still a long way from that „family of man;“ in fact, we seem to be receding from the ideal rather than drawing closer to it. Interests of all kinds: personal, selfish, state, national, group and, if you like, company interests still considerably outweigh genuinely common and global interests. We are still under the sway of the destructive and thoroughly vain belief that man is the pinnacle of creation, and not just a part of it, and that therefore everything is permitted. There are still many who say they are concerdend not for themselves but for the cause, while they are demonstrably out for themselves and not for the cause at all. We are still destroying the planet that was entrusted to us, and its environment. We still close our eyes to the growing social, ethnic and cultural conflicts in the world. From time to time we say that the anonymous megamachinery we have created for ourselves no longer serves us but rather has enslaved us, yet we still fail to do anything about it.“

Václav Havel:
Speech to Joint Session of the United States Congress, Washington, February 21, 1990

Havel—Prigov and czech experimental poetry