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Photo exhibition shows Prague sites, events linked with Havels

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Prague, Sept 15 (CTK) – An exhibition of photos showing Prague buildings linked to the family of the late Czech president Vaclav Havel and events that occurred in them was opened in the historical Werich Villa garden in Prague’s Kampa island on Friday.

The exhibition is based on a book by architecture historian Zdenek Lukes.

“I read the book and I realised that the Havels were genuine natives of Prague, who also largely contributed to the city’s development. Vaclav Havel is the only politician to have left architectonic legacy behind in Prague,” photographer Alan Pajer said, mentioning the Havel-initiated reconstruction of the Prague Castle premises and of the devastated St Ann Church, which was transformed into a cultural centre.

Apart from these projects, the exhibition presents the modern Dancing House, Havel’s native house on the Rasin Embankment and the Slavia cafe.

Havel also used to visit poet Vladimir Holan in the Werich Villa, named after popular actor, writer and theatre director and manager Jan Werich (1905-1980), who inhabited it with his family from 1945 until his death.

Built in the 17th century, the villa has been owned by the City of Prague since 1918 and its thorough reconstruction finished earlier this year. It is accessible to the public.

“Werich himself offered a job in his theatre to Havel in 1959,” Lukes said.

The exhibition runs through the end of September.

It will be accompanied by three discussion meetings. At the first two, on September 18 and 24, Lukes will lecture about the Prague Castle architecture and about buildings linked to the Havel family. At the last meeting, Pajer will present Havel as a president, citizen and dissident.

Vaclav Havel (1936-2011), a writer, playwright and leading dissident, became the first Czechoslovak and later Czech post-communist president in 1989-2003.

His father Vacslav Havel was a construction magnate and his uncle Milos Havel was a significant media entrepreneur and owner of the biggest film production company in the interwar Czechoslovakia.

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