Outdoor exhibition celebrates three decades of Czech prime ministers

Panels in the garden of the Government Office show all 13 prime ministers in formal and informal photos.

Expats.cz Staff

Written by Expats.cz Staff Published on 09.06.2023 14:59:00 (updated on 09.06.2023) Reading time: 2 minutes

The Czech Republic has had 13 prime ministers since the breakup of Czechoslovakia 30 years ago. A panel exhibition on their tenures has opened in the garden of the Straka Academy, the seat of the government office. The public can visit the renovated garden every Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. until the middle of October. The exhibition, though, will only be there until Aug. 26.

Panles in the Straka Academy Garden. Photo: Vlada.cz
Panels in the Straka Academy Garden. Photo: Vlada.cz

"We conceived the selection of photographs that we present here today as a chronicle of the most important events of the last three decades, and also as a certain appreciation of all the prime ministers who led our country during this period and who contributed to the kind of country we live in today," Government Office head Jana Kotalíková said when the exhibition opened on June 8.

"When viewing individual photos, you may realize how much our life has changed, what changes not only our society has undergone, but also the environment in which we live," she added.

Picture of current Prime Minister Petr Fiala. Photo: Vlada.cz
Picture of current Prime Minister Petr Fiala. Photo: Vlada.cz

The outdoor panels have a mix of serious and informal photos. Václav Klaus can be seen on a camel, Miloš Zeman in a hockey jersey, Vladimír Špidla during a cross-country race, Jiří Paroubek during a flood, Mirek Topolánek at the Wailing Wall in Jerusalem, and Petr Nečas in an interview with the then-chief of the General Staff Petr Pavel, who is now president.

"We wanted to combine more official photos with those where the former Czech prime ministers appear more like people," Kotalíková said, according to ČTK. Former prime ministers Václav Klaus and Jan Fischer attended the opening. Current Prime Minister Petr Fiala could not attend due to pressing government business.

Former prime minister Jan Fischer. Photo: Vlada.cz
Former prime minister Jan Fischer. Photo: Vlada.cz

"I would like to use this festive opportunity and, on behalf of the Government Office, to thank all the previous Czech prime ministers as warmly as possible for their work, courage and commitment, without which this demanding work cannot be done," Kotalíková said.

Group photo of  Czech prime ministers. Photo: Vlada.cz
Group photo of Czech prime ministers at the Kramář Villa. Photo: Vlada.cz

In September the panels will be moved to the garden of the Beneš Villa in Sezimov Ústí, where it will be on display until the end of the visiting season.

This is not the first commemorative event this year with the participation of former Czech prime ministers. In January, current Prime Minister Petr Fiala organized a gala dinner for his predecessors at the Kramář Villa, the residence of Karel Kramář, the first prime minister of Czechoslovakia. The building at the edge of Letná park is used for ceremonial occasions. Nine former prime ministers and their partners accepted the invitation.

Straka Academy. Photo: Vlada.cz
Straka Academy. Photo: Vlada.cz

Czechia's prime ministers

  • 1.Václav Klaus (ODS) 1993–98
  • 2.Josef Tošovský (non-partisan) 1997–98
  • 3.Miloš Zeman (ČSSD) 1998–2002
  • 4.Vladimír Špidla (ČSSD) 2002–04
  • 5.Stanislav Gross (ČSSD) 2004–05
  • 6.Jiří Paroubek (ČSSD) 2005–06
  • 7.Mirek Topolánek (ODS), 2006–09
  • 8.Jan Fischer (non-partisan) 2009–10
  • 9.Petr Nečas (ODS) 2010–13
  • 10.Jiří Rusnok (non-partisan) 2013–14
  • 11.Bohuslav Sobotka (ČSSD) 2014–17
  • 12.Andrej Babiš (ANO) 2017–21
  • 13.Petr Fiala (ODS) since Nov. 28, 2021
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