Iconic Václav Havel memorabilia goes up for auction in Prague

Proceeds from the sale of items including the jacket Havel wore in November 1989 will go towards repairs for the Havel family's Lucerna Palace in Prague.

Expats.cz Staff

Written by Expats.cz Staff Published on 26.11.2023 12:48:00 (updated on 26.11.2023) Reading time: 2 minutes

Prague's Žofín Palace is hosting a unique art auction initiated by Gallery Kodl this afternoon that also includes some special items related to Czech history and former president Václav Havel.

The auction will showcase over two hundred artworks spanning the 19th century to contemporary pieces. The collection boasts diverse creations, from paintings by celebrated Czech surrealist Toyen to cubist works by Emil Filla and pieces by František Janoušek.

In a unique twist, the auction also features items associated with the renowned playwright and the first president of the independent Czech Republic, Václav Havel. Notable among them is Havel's dark green parka, worn during historic moments during the Velvet Revolution like his speech on November 25, 1989, at Letná.

The parka carries a starting bid of CZK 200,000. Accompanying it is Havel's handwritten text, dated February 21, 1989, when he was sentenced to nine months in prison for participating in protests.

Further enriching the Havel memorabilia are two paintings from the 1950s – his take on a self-portrait of Vincent van Gogh and an expressive piece titled Landscape with the Sun. These artworks both starting at CZK 400,000.

Proceeds from Havel's items and artwork will contribute to funds for the restoration of Lucerna Palace, which are now entering their final phases. The multifunctional Prague complex features a cinema hall, ballroom, theater, and more amenities.

Lucerna Palace, which was constructed by Václav Havel's grandfather Vácslav Havel between 1907 and 1911, holds historical significance for the Havel family. After post-war nationalization and subsequent neglect, it returned to the Havel family's ownership after 1989.

Beyond the Havel memorabilia, art enthusiasts and collectors will find a rich array of styles and eras at the auction. Whether drawn to the avant-garde cubism of Emil Filla, the surrealism of František Janoušek, or the contemporary flair of artists like Jiří Georg Dokoupil, the auction promises a celebration of Czech artistic heritage.

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The highlights of today's auction include Toyen's 1926 painting Monte Carlo, which comes with a starting bid of CZK 18 million. The post-war canvas, Il s'anime, by the same artist, is priced at CZK 7 million.

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