Sunday, 20 April 2014

Neon heart to commemorate Havel at European Parliament

18 December 2012

Brussels, Dec 17 (CTK) - A huge neon heart by artist Jiri David was switched on yesterday to shine at the European Parliament's seat in Brussels on the eve of the first anniversary of former Czech president Vaclav Havel's death.

The 15-metre artifact was shining over Prague Castle, the presidential seat, from November 17, 2002 until the end of January, 2003, to mark the end of Havel's term in the presidential post.

The sculpture was shaped like a heart that Havel used to attach to his signature.

"Vaclav Havel was a great and courageous man and a globally respected personality," said EP deputy chairman Oldrich Vlasak who helped install the artifact on the EP seat.

"Freedom, democracy, human rights and personal responsibility are the values that stand above all every day disputes and that create the cornerstones of the European cooperation project," said Vlasak (Civic Democrats, ODS).

The heart weighing some 300 kilos, which was installed at the EP seat at the end of last week only, will decorate the building until the end of January, 2013.

The original artifact had to be slightly modified for the current installation. The neon tube inside was replaced with diodes.

Havel (1936-2011), playwright, thinker and former dissident, was the last Czechoslovak and the first Czech president (1989-2003). He died on December 18, 2011, aged 75 years.

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