R2-D2 gets a friend as Prague fallout shelter vent becomes a Minion

Prague's Folimanka park has been getting some upgrades in recent weeks, which includes some renovations to R2-D2 and the addition of a couple friends.

Expats.cz Staff

Written by Expats.cz Staff Published on 04.09.2022 14:36:00 (updated on 04.09.2022) Reading time: 2 minutes

Prague's Folimanka Park has been seen some big improvements this summer, and an old friend hasn't been forgotten. The park's famed R2-D2 fallout shelter vent has undergone a complete restoration, and obtained a pair of nearby friends.

An additional fallout shelter vent at Folimanka Park has been given a full-body coat of paint (and piping goggles) in the style of the minions from the Universal movies. Originally side character in the Despicable Me series, the minions got their own movie series that saw the release of a second film, Minions: The Rise of Gru, earlier this summer.

The new vent, which is located on a Folimanka sidewalk unlike the R2-D2 vent up a park hill, depicts not only a single Minion but a pair that can be seen on two sides of the vent going up and down the path. Using the latest movie for reference, we're going to say that's Bob with two eyes and Stuart with one.

The artist(s) behind the original R2-D2 vent have not been publicly named, but local journalist Petr Cífka and a couple friends shared photos of the renovated vent and the new minion to social media this weekend.

The original R2-D2 vent caused a big stir when it appeared in Folimanka Park in 2017, and even the BBC covered the city's unusual new artifact. The artwork turned an unsightly concrete vent into a legitimate attraction to seek out in the Czech capital.

While city officials said that they would not support illegal graffiti, they also considered the artwork to be an improvement on the original Soviet-era vent and would not take action to remove it.

Over the next five years, however, nature took its toll on Prague's R2-D2 vent. The paint slowly eroded, and the additional concrete "legs" were eventually lost. Other graffiti artists left their own tags on the vent, and just a couple years after being installed R2-D2 was looking considerably worse for wear.

The pre-minion vent in 2020. Photo: Raymond Johnston
The pre-minion vent in 2020. Photo: Raymond Johnston

Now, however, R2-D2 is back and looking as good as ever. The concrete legs have been replaced, and he's joined by a pair of minions that have completely transformed a nearby vent down the road. The artist(s) behind the old and new pieces have yet to take credit for their work.

The artwork on the fallout shelter air vents isn't the only attraction that has come to Folimanka Park this summer. In August, the new Jammertal recreational area opened in the park under the Nusle bridge. It contains a large skateboard area that will become an ice skating rink in winter, along with other activity zones.

The vents, of course, only hint at what's underneath them. In the past, Prague 2 has opened the doors to the fallout shelter beneath Folimanka Park for guided tours around once per month.

Read more about the history behind Folimanka Park, and what to visit while you're there, in our comprehensive breakdown.

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