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New York declares Václav Havel Day for September 28

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New York/Prague, Sept 29 (CTK) – Mayor of New York Bill de Blasio declared on Wednesday Vaclav Havel Day in New York which will be celebrated on September 28, Michael Zantovsky, director of the Vaclav Havel Library, confirmed to CTK on Thursday.

Late Havel, who would celebrate his 80th birthday on October 5, was remembered in the USA at other events, too.

“The institute of the days devoted to a certain person or topic has a quite big weight in New York,” the Czech general consulate in New York said earlier.

Playwright and dissident Havel 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.

The performance of Havel’s theatre plays and unveiling of his bust in the Columbia University campus were planned for Havel’s Day.

“Havel became a symbol of freedom and human rights not only for us, the citizens of the Czech Republic,” Jan Hamacek, chairman of the Chamber of Deputies, said at the remembrance act.

“There is a need of reminding of his legacy because the world is far from being safe now and freedom and human rights are far from being guaranteed for all,” he added.

The event was attended by Paul Ryan, Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi, Minority Leader of the United States House of Representatives, and a number of Congress members.

Further events were held at the Czech diplomatic office, at the Vaclav Havel bench at Georgetown University and in the Atlantic Council in Washington.

There were debates, meetings of students associated with awards for an essay contest, the performance of Havel’s play Protest and a photographic exhibition, Hamacek’s spokesman Jan Novacek said.

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