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Son of Věra Špinarová turns down honour from Zeman

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Praha, Oct 26 (CTK) – Adam Pavlik, son of popular Czech singer Vera Spinarova who died in March aged 65, has rejected a state decoration that President Milos Zeman planned to bestow on her in memoriam since his mother would not want such an award, Pavlik confirmed to CTK on Thursday.

“I am persuaded that she would not accept the decoration. Awards were of no importance to her. Moreover, she did not like Zeman, so she would not go there,” Pavlik told CTK.

He referred to a ceremony at Prague Castle, the presidential seat, to be held on Saturday, October 28, marking the establishment of the independent Czechoslovakia in 1918, when Zeman will present orders and medals to selected personalities.

Pavlik added that the president should represent the nation and Zeman was not such head of state in his mother’s opinion.

Zeman’s spokesman Jiri Ovcacek told CTK that citizens had called on Zeman to award Spinarova. “However, her son refused that and so she was not listed among the personalities to be decorated,” Ovcacek added.

Zeman said Spinarova was nominated for a state decoration during his recent tour of the Moravia-Silesia Region.

Pavlik said he had informed the Presidential Office by phone that his mother would not accept the decoration, after consultations with his family. He thereby considers this affair closed, he added.

“We suppose that the whole matter is extremely unfortunate and sad, nevertheless, the Presidential Office has not caused it,” Ovcacek said, adding that Pavlik had contacted the office a month ago in this respect.

In 2013, rock musician Vladimir Misik, 70, refused to accept a state order from Zeman’s hands, saying he did so since he disagreed with some decisions made by the president.

Misik in particular rejected an invitation to Prague Castle sent to all personalities to be decorated. However, Zeman weakened Misik’s protest by not including him in the final list of the awarded persons eventually.

A year later, film-maker Jan Nemec (1936-2016), a protagonist of the New Czech Film Wave of the 1960s, returned the medal of merit that he received in 2002 from president Vaclav Havel. By this gesture, Nemec protested against some of the persons awarded by Zeman in 2014, in particular two film directors, Filip Renc, who shot an election spot for Zeman in his presidential campaign, and Robert Sedlacek, author of a quite flattering documentary on Zeman from 2007.

Last year, former Czech Senate chairman and dissident Petr Pithart, 76, rejected his nomination for the highest state order from Zeman. Astronomer Jiri Grygar, 81, gave up a chance of getting an order from Zeman as well.

Some of the names of the personalities Zeman will decorate on Saturday have been revealed.

The media have reported that Zeman is to decorate former German chancellor Gerhard Schroder and Slovenian President Borut Pahor. Vienna’s Mayor Michael Haupl will receive the highest Czech state decoration, the Order of the White Lion, for improving Czech-Austrian relations, the Foreign Office of Vienna in Prague has confirmed.

Besides, Zeman is to decorate former Czechoslovak chief of staff Karel Pezl, speed-skating champion Martina Sablikova, truck racer Karel Loprais and folk singer Jaromir Nohavica, among other personalities.

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