Monday, 18 June 2018

New bell commemorating former president Havel installed in Prague

6 March 2017

Prague, March 5 (CTK) - A crowd of several hundred people watched the transport of a new bell, called Vaclav, commemorating the legacy of former president Vaclav Havel, across much of Prague to the Saint Gall (Havel) Church yesterday.
The bell was blessed in an ecumenical mass served for the victims of totalitarian regimes by Prague Archbishop, Cardinal Dominik Duka.
The money to cast and install the bell was gained within a public collection organised by the Charter 77 Foundation.
The bell will be ringing for the first time in the Saint Gall Church on the occasion of the end of the anti-totalitarian festival Mene Tekel. This will be followed by other Prague bells that will greet the Vaclav Bell.
Havel, a leading dissident and playwright, became the first Czechoslovak president after the fall of the communist regime, and he was the first president of the independent Czech Republic in 1993-2003.
He died in his favourite country house in Hradecek, east Bohemia, on December 18, 2011.
The marchers, many of whom rang their own small bells as a sign of affection for for late Havel, walked from the Hradcanske Square across the medieval Charles Bridge across the Vltava River to the Saint Gall Church.
The costs of the casting and installation of the bell are estimated at roughly 800,000 crowns.
The bell weighs approximately three quarters of a tonne. The collection yielded roughly 1,3 million crowns.
The rest of the money from the collection will be spent on the Vaclav Havel Prize, awarded by the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe in cooperation with the Charter 77 Foundation and the Vaclav Havel Library.
The bell will be installed in the southern church tower where it has been lacked since World War Two.
The Vaclav Bell will be in the church along with the oldest bell in Prague, called Marie, dating back to 1455.
The church itself was founded in the 13th century.

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