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Exhibitions, concerts to mark Czechoslovak centenary in Brussels

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Brussels, Feb 4 (CTK) – Exhibitions, concerts, film screenings and public discussion meetings will be held in Brussels this year to mark the centenary of Czechoslovakia and highlight historic milestones as the basis of Czech modern history, Jitka Panek Jurkova, head of the local Czech Centre, has told CTK.

The organisers do not seek a mere “historizing approach” or looking back at October 28, 1918, when Czechoslovakia was established as one of the successor states of the collapsing Austro-Hungarian monarchy, Panek Jurkova said.

“On the contrary, we want to speak of Czech modern history as a continuum and emphasise that last century’s milestones form the basis of the contemporary period,” she said.

The Czech Culture Year in Brussels started this week with the presentation of Czech film Masaryk (2016), about Jan Masaryk, the first Czechoslovak president’s son and foreign minister in the Czechoslovak government in exile (1940-1945) and in 1945-1948.

A series of events will run in the Bozar palace in the centre of Brussels throughout the year, with the motto “1918: European dreams of modernity.”

Apart from the Czech Republic, it has been co-organised by other countries to which the year 1918 is a milestone, such as Austria, Estonia, Hungary, Romania and others.

At present, Czech writer David Zabransky and Pavlina Kvapilova are staying in Brussels to attend debates on the 1918 events in an improvised cafe with academics, historians, philosophers and other personalities from elsewhere in Europe.

In May, the Bozar palace will host a performance presenting the art of the inter-war dance avant-garde.

Concerts promoting Czech music, including contemporary, are also planned.

The 50th anniversary of the Prague Spring communist reform movement in Czechoslovakia and its suppression by the Soviet-led invasion of the country by the Warsaw Pact troops on August 21, 1968 will be highlighted by an exhibition of works by renowned Czech-born photographer Josef Koudelka in the former botanical garden area.

Films of the Czech new wave will be also presented to commemorate the eventful 1960s.

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