Czech weekend news roundup: December 4–5, 2021

An up-the-minute news briefing of top headlines for Prague and the Czech Republic. Staff

Written by Staff Published on 04.12.2021 14:27:00 (updated on 09.12.2021) Reading time: 5 minutes

December 5, 2021

15:26 Former president Klaus breaks ankle hiking

Former president Vaclav Klaus slipped on an outdoor path in the Giant Mountains and broke his ankle this weekend, a spokesperson from the Vaclav Klaus Institute, told reporters today. After being treated in the Bulovka hospital in Prague, Klaus, an octogenarian, will be walking on crutches for some time. At the end of September, Klaus spent several days at the urological clinic of the Prague Central Military Hospital. Prior to that, he was hospitalized over problems with high blood pressure.

10:30 Ice warning issued for Prague and Bohemia thru Monday

When temperatures drop below freezing, icing or frost will form locally in the Czech Republic from tonight until Monday morning, the Czech Hydrometeorological Institute (CHMI) said this morning, issuing low-degree ice warning along with advising caution to anyone navigating sidewalks and or slippery roads. According to meteorologists, winter weather should continue in the mountains at the beginning of next week, and more snow will fall. Wednesday will see warmer weather.

December 4, 2021

Czech books NY Times: Peter Sís's 'Nicky & Vera' among year's best

The New York Times has named Czech author Peter Sís illustrated children's book NICKY & VERA: A Quiet Hero of the Holocaust and the Children He Rescued among its top 25 children's books of 2021. According to the publication, "This child’s-eye tribute explores the fates that led Nicholas Winton to cross paths with a young girl he saved from the Nazis."

19:58 Soviet MiG-23 fighter transported from Prague to Kunovice

A convoy with the Soviet-made MiG-23MF supersonic fighter arrived at the military aircraft museum in Kunovice, South Moravia, from Prague in the late afternoon today.

The disassembly and loading in the LOM Praha plant took almost three hours. The convoy then set out on the D1 highway to Moravia. The trip took over five hours due to bad weather. The machine will be the first exhibit of the third generation of fighters in the Kunovice museum. The MiG-23MF was a vital part of the former Czechoslovak air force; the last MiG-23s were discarded in the Czech Republic in 1998.

19:40 Orthodox church goers clash with security guards

Orthodox believers who support Priest Jozef Fejsak in his dispute with Bishop of the Olomouc-Brno eparchy Izaias failed to force their way into their church defended by the security staff today. A minor injury was reported and police called to the scene. A week ago, entry to the church was barred by a two-member security team and the church-goers eventually cut a chain at the church's gate, but during this attempt, they were unable to overcome the more robust security staff. Feuds over property are at the core of the conflict.

ART Newly discovered Mucha auctioned for record price

Toomey & Co. Auctioneers’ Art & Design auctioned a newly discovered Alphonse Mucha oil on canvas Thursday. The painting grabbed $965,000 at auction including a buyer’s premium, nearly 10 times the estimated value. The price is an auction record for a study by Mucha, according to Art Daily. The rediscovered work, “Young Couple from Rusadla”, is from 1920 and depicts a young couple embracing. It's part of a larger composition titled "Rusadla," which illustrates a procession scene from a Slavic Midsummer Feast.

The two figures in “Young Couple from Rusadla” appear in the upper-right-hand corner of the painting, which has since been lost but was reproduced in the magazine Zlatá Praha on July 30, 1919.

Czech artist Alphonse Mucha was a highly influential figure in the Art Nouveau movement in Paris who rose to fame in 1894 after creating a popular lithograph poster advertisement for the play, Gismonda, starring Sarah Bernhardt. Subsequently, Mucha dedicated himself to chronicling the Slavic people and their history with his 20-painting series, "Slav Epic."

12:40 Okamura to lead SPD for 3 more years

Tomio Okamura was re-elected as the leader of the Czech anti-EU Freedom and Direct Democracy (SPD) party, gaining 84 votes out of 85 at the party's national congress today. Okamura himself abstained from the vote. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the congress is taking place online. Okamura will be heading the SPD for another three years. He has been chairing the party since its foundation in 2015. The delegates also elected other members of the board. The post of SPD deputy chairman was defended by lawmaker Radim Fiala.

10:26 Former finance minister considers run for Czech presidency

Former Minister of Finance Miroslav Kalousek says he's weighing a run for president. Although the former KDU-ČSL and TOP 09 leader hasn't yet fully committed to the idea, he outlined the vision for the office as that of a "constitutional worker" and a much more civilian president than current president Milos Zeman. A possible civic candidacy will be decided by the winter.

8:34 Upper section of Sněžka cable car stopped by strong wind

This morning only the lower section of the cable car to Sněžka, from Pec pod Sněžkou to Růžová hora, started its daily operation of the winter season. The upper section from Růžová hora to the top of the highest Czech mountain is not in operation due to strong winds. The cable car to Sněžka can operate during a wind speed of up to 60 km/h. Due to anti-coronavirus measures, passengers must adhere to strict hygiene rules, which are checked upon admission. The Polish Mountain Service reported freezing conditions in Sněžka this morning, with a temperature of around minus ten degrees Celsius and a wind speed of over 70 km/h.

7:00 Every fourth Czech to spend over CZK 7,500 on Christmas

A new survey conducted for UniCredit Bank by Ipsos in November found that almost one in four Czechs intend to spend over CZK 7,500 on Christmas presents. Men and women plan to give for gifts more or less the same amount. According to the survey, which polled a thousand respondents, a majority of Czechs do not plan to reduce spending on gifts this year. Forty-five percent of respondents intend to spend over CZK 5,000 on gifts, of which 21 percent chose to limit the budget to CZK 7,500 and another 24 percent admitted that they are willing to spend even more this year. The most common answer across all age categories (33 percent) was the financial range of CZK 2,501 to 5,000.

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