Czech Centres to establish new locations in Belgrade, Hanoi, and Taipei

The initiative, which spreads Czech culture abroad through film, music, language courses, and more, will expand its operations starting later this year. Staff

Written by Staff Published on 17.06.2023 09:46:00 (updated on 14.07.2023) Reading time: 2 minutes

Czech Centres, which currently promote Czech culture in 26 countries around the world, will soon open in Belgrade and Hanoi, and there are plans for one in Taipei as well, Foreign Minister Jan Lipavský told journalists at a press conference commemorating 30 years since the establishment of the initiative.

Lipavský emphasized the significance of Czech Centres for Czech foreign policy and the promotion of the Czech Republic's image abroad. Depending on the city and its conditions, such as the presence of a Czech community or individuals interested in studying or working in the Czech Republic, Czech Centres organize events focused on Czech culture, language, and traditions.

Lipavský highlighted the strong demand for the establishment of new centers. The Czech Centre in Belgrade is expected to open in the second half of this year, with Lucie Orbók, who previously led the Czech Centre in Budapest, appointed as its director.

Lipavský explained that Czech Centres operate in various forms, with some being fully independent while others are associated with the Czech diplomatic mission in a country. The operating model depends on logistical and technical considerations, as well as the specific circumstances of each country. Efforts are currently underway to determine the most suitable model for the Czech Centre in Taipei.

The foreign minister added that the Ministry's budget allocates around 180 million crowns annually to support the activities of Czech Centres. Each year, approximately 1,700 Czech events are organized abroad, attracting around 7.5 million visitors.

In the coming year, the main focus of the Czech Centres will be the Year of Czech Music, building upon lead-up events in previous years. A primary focus will be the commemoration the 200th anniversary of the birth of Czech composer and national music pioneer Bedřich Smetana.

Earlier this year, the Office of the Commissioner General for the Participation of the Czech Republic at the World Expo, established in the 1990s, merged with Czech Centres. In 2025, the next World Expo will be held in Osaka, Japan.

The expansion of Czech Centres aligns with the Czech government's commitment to fostering cultural diplomacy and strengthening bilateral relations. By establishing new Centres in Belgrade, Hanoi, and Taipei, the Czech Republic aims to deepen cultural exchanges, enhance people-to-people connections, and facilitate educational and professional opportunities with these countries.

Czech Centres serve as vital hubs for promoting Czech culture, language, and heritage, contributing to a richer understanding and appreciation of the Czech Republic and its people worldwide.

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