Czech morning news in brief: top headlines for April 8, 2021

The Czech Republic's oldest Art Nouveau monument is being restored, changes to election law pass, Czech team reconstructs oldest modern human genome.

ČTK

Written by ČTK Published on 08.04.2021 09:54 (updated on 08.04.2021) Reading time: 4 minutes

Golden wings return to Prague's Art Nouveau railway building

The Fanta wing of Prague's main railway station will once again be adorned with a sculpture of golden wings from 1907. The statue, which is part of the winged wheel sculpture, has been under construction for about a year. Repairs to the roof and facade of the building are underway as well as to the interior of the Art Nouveau building. The reconstruction of the facade and roof, the total cost of which is estaimated at CZK 220 million should be completed this June. Restorers re-gilded the golden wings before placing them on the historic building using 4,875 leaves of 24-carat gold. Reconstruction was necessary as the sculpture was threatening to fall from the building due to the corroded steel structure of the golden wings. The Railway Administration also plans to repair the interior of the Fanta building by 2023, which, together with the adjacent hall above the platform, forms the largest Art Nouveau monument in the Czech Republic.

Lower house of Czech parliament passes required changes to election law

The Chamber of Deputies, the lower house of Czech parliament, approved a new method of translating votes into MPs’ mandates under which election coalitions will need fewer votes to succeed. The Senate, the upper house of Czech parliament, will address the changes to the election law in the days to come. The lower house decided yesterday that two-member coalitions need to win at least 8 percent and coalitions of more parties at least 11 percent of the vote to enter the Chamber of Deputies. The 5-percent threshold for parties running separately in the general election will remain unchanged. The next general election will be held in October. Mandates will be given automatically, without a possibility of parties influencing them after the elections. The current 14 election regions will be preserved and the proposal to make the Czech Republic a single election constituency was rejected. The proposal for introducing postal voting for Czechs abroad was also rejected. Under the amendment to the election law, the Czech Statistical Office will decide after the elections how many MPs individual regions of the country should have, based on how many people voted in them.

Czech researchers help reconstruct oldest modern human genome

An international team with Czech experts analysed Neanderthal genomes and reconstructed probably the oldest genome of anatomically modern human, the fossil skull of a woman dated to 45,000 years ago, Michal Andrle from the Faculty of Science of the Charles University told CTK Wednesday. An article on the finding was published in the Nature Ecology & Evolution journal. Experts say the age of the genome showed longer sequences of the Neanderthal DNA than the Ust'-Ishim man from Siberia that has been linked to the so far oldest reconstructed modern human genome. The DNA of Neanderthal and early modern human indicated that these groups mixed in the Middle East after modern people left Africa some 50,000 years ago. The current people, except those from Africa, have roughly 2 to 3 percent of Neanderthal DNA. The DNA sequences enable scientists to say when the particular person lived, but well preserved human fossils are scarce. Future genetic studies of early European could reconstruct for instance the population decline of the first modern Euroasian people, experts say.

Culture organisers may ask for support from COVID programme

Businesses that support culture will be elgible for compensation of up to CZK 10 million from the COVID culture program the Culture and Industry and Trade ministries said in a press statement Wednesday. The companies and NGOs organizing cultural events may apply for compensation via the portal of the Industry and Trade Ministry between April 21 and June 30. Applications will be evaluated by the two ministries. The subsidies will be paid provided the relevant conditions are fulfilled. The offer relates to the organisers of the musical, theatrical and dance festivals, owners of music clubs, companies providing technical background for cultural events, artistic groups, organisers of circuses, agencies, theatres and NGOs in culture as well as collective administrators of rights.

Rangers' Kamara talks about alleged racial abuse from Slavia player

Rangers midfielder Glen Kamara gave an interview to Scottish ITV News yesterday during which he talked for the first time about his altercation with Slavia Prague's Ondřej Kúdela. Kamara who claims he was racially attacked during the March 18 Europa League match in Glasgow said that Kudela called him a “f****** monkey.” Speaking for the first time since the incident, the 25-year-old told the interviewer that he felt “ashamed” and “humiliated” after Kudela's comments. Kudela has denied the allegations and says Kamara assaulted him after the game. Slavia Prague have submitted their own official complaint with Police Scotland, who are investigating both stories. The 34-year-old Czech player has been temporarily suspended by UEFA, who have opened disciplinary proceedings.

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