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Foundation does not want ministry to pay for using Havel’s name

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Prague, Aug 3 (CTK) – The Dagmar and Vaclav Havel Foundation Vision 97 no longer wants the Foreign Ministry to pay a fee for using the name of former president Vaclav Havel, the ministry’s public diplomacy section head Kristina Larischova told reporters after meeting Vision 97 head Vangelis Zingopis yesterday.
The two parties have agreed that Czech embassies will inform Vision 97 via the Foreign Ministry about all their projects involving Havel’s name and they will apply for the consent of Vision 97 chairwoman and Havel’s widow Dagmar Havlova.
Vision 97, which supervises the late Havel’s personality rights protection, originally protested against not having been informed about the planned renaming of a square in Haifa, Israel, after Havel (1936-2011). It wanted the ministry to pay the relevant licence fee.
Vision 97 has agreed with the square renaming yesterday and it will not require the fee from the ministry any more, Zingopis told journalists.
In July, daily Lidove noviny (LN) wrote that the Vaclav Havel Library, acting at Vision 97’s request, collects a fee of 30,000 crowns, without VAT, for the use of Havel’s name.
Zingopis said about 500 institutions have applied for the use of Havel’s name since his death in December 2011, and about 15 of them have been granted the permit.
Vision 97 charged no fee in the cases where Havel’s name served a public beneficial purpose, Zingopis said.
The cases of the benches some town halls and institutions have installed in remembrance of Havel is different. In these cases, the licence fee was a part of the bench’s price, Zingopis said.
This is the case, for example, of the Havel bench installed by the South Bohemian University in Ceske Budejovice and by the City Hall of the west Bohemian centre Plzen, he added.
The Czech ambassador to Israel, Ivo Schwarz, too, was asked to pay the 30,000-crown fee after the square in Haifa was renamed.
Vision 97 representatives said they required the fee because Vision 97 had not been informed about the renaming beforehand nor had anyone asked it for consent.
The Foreign Ministry did not want to pay the fee, saying it was only a mediator of the project.
At the negotiations yesterday, the two parties agreed that the embassies will inform Vision 97 about all their plans beforehand, Larischova said.
“In the case of events honouring Vaclav Havel’s memory, we will not require any fee, as we never have in similar cases so far,” Zingopis said.
He said Vision 97 wants to be informed about all initiatives linked to Havel’s legacy. For example, it is not desirable for a single town to have more Vaclav Havel Streets, he said.
Several Czech towns have named streets after Havel, but not all of them have applied for permission. Zingopis did not say how Vision 97 will react to this.
Vision 97 mainly wants to protect Havel’s name appropriately, also in effort to prevent people from misusing it to enrich themselves, he said.
Zingopis previously said the Vision 97’s proceeds from donations, services, sales of products and granting of licences have been used to finance health, cultural and educational projects and the operation of the Vaclav Havel Office.
Havel, a playwright and former leading dissident, was the first post-communist Czechoslovak and later Czech president in 1989-2003.
($1=24.648 crowns)

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