Usti nad Labem, North Bohemia, Oct 10 (CTK) – The Vaclav Havel bench as a symbol of a dialogue, dedicated to the late post-communist Czech president who would have turned 80 this month, was unveiled in the campus of the University of Usti nad Labem by students and academics yesterday.
The bench is one of “Havel’s Places,” consisting of two garden armchairs and a round table with a tree in the middle, that have been have been unveiled in Czech and foreign towns.
“We would thereby like to permanently commemorate the legacy of Vaclav Havel not only as the president, but also as one of the most significant personalities of the 20th century,” said Michaela Hruba, dean of the Faculty of Arts of the Usti University, who initiated the Havel’s Place in the campus.
The will to dialogue is exactly the legacy that the faculty would like to mediate not only to the students, but to all visitors to the university campus, she said.
Moreover, the Havel bench is a certain “gift” to the tenth anniversary of the Faculty of Arts in Usti, Hruba added.
“Havel’s Places” were designed by the late architect and Havel’s friend Borek Sipek. His former aides helped with the installation of the place in Usti, along with the Dagmar and Vaclav Havel Foundation Vision 97 and local architect Vladimir Novak.
The project was funded by a number of personalities, including former minister and Havel’s aide Alexandr Vondra.
The first of “Havel’s Places” was established overseas, on the grounds of Georgetown University in Washington in October 2013, followed by others abroad – in Dublin, Barcelona, Venice, Tel Aviv and Oxford. In the Czech Republic, they were installed in Prague, Ceske Budejovice, south Bohemia, Hradec Kralove, east Boehmia, Plzen and Karlovy Vary, west Bohemia, Liberec, north Bohemia, Kromeriz, south Moravia, and most recently in Cernosice near Prague.
Playwright and dissident Havel, born on October 5, 1936, was the last Czechoslovak and the first Czech president (1989-2003). After he left the post, he primarily focused on the promotion of human rights in the world. He died on December 18, 2011, aged 75 years.