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Year of Czech Culture to be held in Leipzig as of October

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Leipzig, Germany, March 16 (CTK correspondent) – Czech literature, music, film and plastic arts will be presented in Leipzig, the most populous city in Saxony, the whole year as of October, Culture Minister Ilja Smid has said at the local book fair.

The Year of Czech Culture will culminate in the participation of several dozen Czech writers at the Leipzig Book Fair next year.

“This year already, we have a bigger national stand than in the past years and we are trying to promote our literature, our culture,” Smid said on the occasion of the opening of the Czech stand at the book fair on Thursday.

Many Czech writers will be presented during the four-day fair, including Bianca Bellova, which received the European Union Prize for Literature for her novel Jezero (The Lake) last year, Michal Ajvaz, poets Petr Borkovec and Sylva Fischerova and playwright David Drabek

More Czech writers are to visit the Leipzig Book Fair in 2019.

“We will be a visiting country at the fair next year and present 40 to 50 authors and the new translations of their books into German within the Year of Czech Culture in Leipzig to be held from October 2018 till the end of 2019,” Smid said.

The event will be launched at the opera ball in Leipzig where Czech mezzo-soprano Dagmar Peckova, living in Germany, and legendary pop music singer Karel Gott, if his condition allows, will perform, on October 13.

Besides, the programme in Leipzig will offer films by Oscar-winning director Jiri Menzel, who turned 80 this year, and an exhibition on the first Czechoslovak President Tomas Garrigue Masaryk (1918-35) in the autumn. Next spring, works by 12 contemporary Czech illustrators will be displayed in the Saxon city, along with the presentation of Czech culinary highlights.

The Year of Czech Culture will end in the autumn of 2019. Ann exhibition on the Charter 77 anti-communist manifesto and movement will open then and the Leipzig Opera will stage Jenufa, written by Czech composer Leos Janacek.

Monthly exchange stays of writers from the Czech Republic and Germany are also planned within the Year of Czech Culture.

Czech culture will be presented not only in Leipzig, but also in other towns in German-speaking countries – in Berlin and Hamburg as well as Vienna and Linz in Austria and Zurich and Basel in Switzerland.

“We expect Czech literature to become a certain ambassador of Czech culture to Germany, and thereby to the whole of Europe,” Smid said.

“I am mainly looking forward to the Czech humour, which is also political and appeals to us in Saxony,” Leipzig Book Fair director Oliver Zille said, commenting on the planned year-long event.

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