Prague, July 14 (CTK) – The Czech foundation Vize 97 of Dagmar and Vaclav Havel started collecting licence fees for the use of the name of late president Havel, daily Lidove noviny (LN) writes yesterday.
Czech town halls that decided to build a Vaclav Havel’s Place, a specially designed table and two armchairs commemorating the late dissident playwright, thinker and statesman, have to pay a fee of 30,000 crowns plus the 21-percent value-added tax for using the name of Havel, the paper writes.
Havel (1936-2011) was the last Czechoslovak and the first Czech president in 1989-2003.
Five Havel’s Places have been installed in the Czech Republic, including that in the university’s campus in Ceske Budejovice, south Bohemia.
“We have paid the fee,” said Jiri Vana, spokesman for the South Bohemian University.
The fee is divided between the Vize 97 foundation and the Vaclav Havel Library.
Lawyer Jan Diblik told the paper that such licence fees are a commercial affair but in cases like Havel they are a sensitive issue, too.
“One can receive fees for using a name because this is in fact a sort of advertising. The question is how high the fee should be,” Diblik said.
On August 3, representatives of Vize 97 and the Foreign Ministry will meet to talk about the fees for the use of Havel’s name, LN writes.
Czech ambassador to Israel, Ivo Schwarz, recently received a letter demanding the payment of the fee for naming a square in Haifa after Havel, initiated by the Czech expatriate community.
The official renaming ceremony was attended by Schwarz and Czech Culture Minister Daniel Herman in Haifa in June.
According to Czech Radio (CRo) commentator Jan Fingerland, Vize 97 wanted 1000 euros for the naming of the square.
“There is no way how the embassy can cover the fee and I believe that this is a tribute rather than a commercial product,” Schwarz said.
Foreign Ministry’s spokeswoman Michaela Lagronova said a dignified solution to the situation would be sought.
Vize 97 head Vangelis Zingopis said the foundation will be negotiating about the additional granting of its approval of the use of Havel’s name in Haifa.
Zingopis said the foundation has received a number of requests for the naming of public places after Havel since his death in late 2011.
Shortly after Havel’s death, the Prague international airport was named after Havel. The airport has paid no fee for this. It only granted free VIP services to Havel’s widow, Dagmar Havlova. Otherwise these services cost about 5000 crowns per flight, LN writes.
The city of Brno, which named an alley after Havel last year, did not pay any fee either.