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Czech News in English » News » Prague » President's office wants detectors at cathedral entrance

President’s office wants detectors at cathedral entrance

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Prague, Nov 4 (CTK) – The Presidential Office wants door frame metal detectors to be installed at the entrance to St Vitus Cathedral at Prague Castle, the presidential seat, and complete the camera-monitoring system to protect its surroundings next year, office head Vratislav Mynar said in the lower house on Wednesday.

Moreover, detection gates to be driven through should be installed in two access streets to the Castle, he added.

Mynar visited a meeting of the Chamber of Deputies budget committee to present a draft budget of the Presidential Office for 2016. On this occasion, he also answered a question about security measures at the Castle.

It is being discussed now whether the measures would be covered from the budgets of the Presidential Office, the Interior Ministry or the Defence Ministry, said Mynar, who still lacks a security vetting of a strictly confidential level required for his post.

“This is a high priority issue not only in relation to boxer shorts, but also to what from time to time appears in our e-mail correspondence,” Mynar pointed out, hinting at the recent incident with red boxer shorts flying above Prague Castle.

“I believe that we are very carefully and sensibly considering preserving the Castle open to the broadest possible public such as today,” Mynar assured MPs.

A debate on tightened security measures was stirred up after a provocative performance of the Ztohoven artistic group, whose members, disguised as chimney sweepers, hung up giant red boxer shorts on the roof of Prague Castle instead of the presidential flag on Saturday, September 19.

Jan Fulik, head of the Presidential Office´s security department, Petr Dongres, chief of the police squad responsible for the president’s security, and Radim Studeny, commander of the military Prague Castle Guard, ended in the post over the incident.

Interior Minister Milan Chovanec (Social Democrats, CSSD)) said in October that security measures would be gradually strengthened at Prague Castle and that an overall change of the protection of the presidential seat was being prepared.

Several hundreds of millions of crowns are to be spent on the new security measures, including door frame metal detectors, which President Milos Zeman wants.

However, heritage protectors are opposed to the plan, saying it would damage the appearance of the historical sight. It would also considerably complicate access to it.f

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