Czech the News

March/April 2003, Volume XII, Number 2


Message from the Ambassador

Vaclav Klaus Elected New Czech President

Foreign Minister Svoboda Visits the U.S.A.

Vaclav Klaus - New President of the Czech Republic

Embassy Staff Changes

Message from the AFoCR Treasurer

News in Brief

CSA Offers Ten Weekly Flights From NYC to Prague

Trade Shows in the Czech Republic

Business in Brief

NCSML Conference a Success

Jaromir Nohavica Comes to the U.S.A. in June

Frantisek Khynl, Czech-American Art Patron, Passes Away

Museum of Arts and Design Celebrates Libensky

Czech Events Around the U.S. A.

Message from the Ambassador

The recent months have been full of events whose impact on future international politics, and contextually, on the European political architecture that we see emerging in the beginning of the 21st century, will indeed be enormous. The accession of ten new countries into the EU will bring about an unprecedented "quantum leap" and a totally new political organization of the "old continent ."

Meanwhile, the US-led coalition has achieved a spectacular victory in Iraq that will be remembered in military history textbooks and will have a lasting effect on the coming shape of international relations. The Czech Republic has remained at its side, sending a chemical and WMD protection unit, and later a field military hospital to the theater of operation. The pivotal theme that remains is the upcoming process of Iraqi democratization.

As I mentioned, transatlantic relations are now undergoing a critical test, due to opposition of the US approach to the resolution of the Iraqi crisis, strongly voiced by several European countries in recent months – namely Belgium, France and Germany. All Central European states, including the Czech Republic, have unanimously spoken up as convinced Atlanticists and as supporters of strong relations between Europe and America. And we have acted accordingly. Our sincere hope is that the current difference of opinion will be overcome as soon as possible and that the destroyed bridges will be rebuilt; that the calm, unprejudiced reflection of what has happened and the open dialogue about all of the sensitive matters and divisive questions will heal the wounds suffered during the recent controversies. The awareness of shared values and common interests of all members of Western civilization on both sides of the Atlantic should not only restore the state ante, but could even strengthen the capabilities of NATO and the EU member nations to cope with the serious challenges of the emerging world in the 21st century. The hopeful signs that such a transatlantic "metanoia" and a new beginning are possible can already be seen.

This hope is connected among other things to the fact that the upcoming enlargement of the EU will bring to end the division of Europe caused by the rise of totalitarian regimes in the 20th century. For Czechs, as for all other "post-totalitarians," it me ans the completion of the task of "returning to Europe" that was set forth more than thirteen years ago when we were released from the Babylonian captivity of communism. As members of NATO and now of the EU, with the firm and strong ally of the United States at our side, we are finally gaining the solid ground that we have been dreaming of for many long decades. With these fundamental goals achieved, our path to prosperity is open and we are obtaining a reasonable security guarantee that our independence and our freedom will not be infringed upon again — or at least not in the foreseeable future, taking into consideration the elementary fact that the future is always by its very nature open and uncertain, with no known end.

Many things must happen in the Czech Republic in order for us to finish all of the "homework" that we have committed ourselves to do, not only for our own sake but also for the sake of our contribution to the common European project. The first item on my mind is the referendum on our membership in the EU, planned for June 13 and 14 of this year. Nonetheless, we all have good reasons to be self-confident and optimistic today. The new president of the Czech Republic, Vaclav Klaus, has set for himself the task of helping to spread a "good mood" in our society. In this regard, I fully support his endeavors. For each of us, this certainly does not mean to simply smile and be happy all of the time – it means to remain open-minded, self-reflexive, tolerant, humble, generous and compassionate. I would like to wish such a state of mind to all of you from the bottom of my heart.

Vaclav Klaus Elected New Czech President

"In the past few years, I have lived in and with the Parliament so closely and intimately that I can appreciate having received votes from across the political spectrum, which I hold in high regard. It is a good sign for the future," said the new President of the Czech Republic, Vaclav Klaus, during his first Inaugural Address held at the Vladislav Hall of the Prague Castle on March 7, 2003.

The President of the Czech Republic functions as the formal head of state, as well as Commander-in-Chief of the armed forces. The president is elected for a five-year term by the Parliament at a joint session of both Chambers, the Senate and the Chamber of Deputies. This year, former President Vaclav Havel’s term officially came to a close on February 2.

After 32 days and three rounds of elections, Vaclav Klaus came to power as the new President of the Czech Republic. During the first two elections, held on January 5 and January 24, no candidate acquired the necessary majority to win.

During the first round of the third election held on the deciding day of February 28, either one of the two remaining candidates, Vaclav Klaus and Jan Sokol, had to acquire a majority in each Chamber.

The attending Deputies numbered 199 out of 200 and all 81 senators were present. Of these, twelve Deputies and two Senators did not check off either candidate. Here Klaus missed a Senate majority, while Sokol missed the Chamber of Deputies.

In the second round of elections, a candidate can win by a majority of the total vote count, the Senate and Chamber of Deputies combined. Neither candidate acquired the necessary 141 votes, Sokol missing the election by 12 votes, and Klaus by two.

The third and final round marked Klaus’s victory as he acquired 142 votes, becoming the new President of the Czech Republic.

During his Inaugural Address, Vaclav Klaus added, "I also want to thank the citizens of the Czech Republic who - in such large numbers - expressed their support for me before and after the election. I am convinced that it was their voice that the Deputies and Senators who voted for me listened to."

According to a recent survey of more than one thousand Czech citizens, the top four expectations of the new President are the following: to act as a representative of the state, to have an objective, to care for the people, and to be truthful.

Foreign Minister Svoboda Visits the U.S.A.

Cyril Svoboda, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic, visited the United States of America from March 5 to March 8, 2003. His visit to the USA included meetings with Secretary of State Colin Powell; Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz; Steven Hadley, Deputy National Security Advisor; the sponsors of Resolution No. 22 Honoring Czech Republic President Vaclav Havel (including Ron Kind, Tom Lantos, Howard Berman); a meeting with Senator John Mc Cain; and a breakfast with former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright.

Foreign Minister Svoboda and US Secretary of State Colin Powell discussed bilateral issues, as well as the international situation, with a special focus on Iraq.

During his stay, Minister Svoboda also delivered an address at the Johns Hopkins University entitled "The Czech Republic’s View of Transatlantic Relations" and held a Press Conference at the National Press Club. He was also interviewed exclusively by Fox News TV regarding Iraq and the Czech contribution in the form of an NBCR (nuclear, biological, chemical and radiological) unit, capable of detecting dangerous substances or agents. Minister Svoboda reiterated the Czech Republic’s position of supporting the United State’s efforts to disarm Iraq.

On March 8, Foreign Minister Cyril Svoboda participated at a birthday commemoration for Tomas G. Masaryk, the first President of independent Czechoslovakia, during a ceremony in Masaryk Park, located at Massachusetts Avenue and 22nd Street in Washington. Foreign Minister Svoboda and the Czech delegation left the United States on March 8, 2003.

Vaclav Klaus - New President of the Czech Republic

On March 7, 2003, Vaclav Klaus (61) stepped into Prague Castle as the second President of the Czech Republic.

"For someone like me, who spent most of his life in the communist era (not to mention who was born when the country was occupied by another totalitarian regime, Nazi Germany) — all of the dreams, talks, plans and projects created to get rid of it, to change it, and to reform it, were an integral and ever-present part of my life and my endeavors," Vaclav Klaus stated on October 16, 2002 at the "Efficient Government, Responsible Society" conference, held in the Universidad Tecnologica de Mexico, just four months before becoming President of his country.

Politically, Vaclav Klaus acted as the chairman of the Czechoslovak Civic Forum Movement, the opposition group that cracked the Communist regime, and as the co-founder and Chairman of the Civic Democratic Party.

Vaclav Klaus was appointed Finance Minister of Czechoslovakia from 1989 to 1992, and later, Prime Minister of the Czech Republic from 1993 to 1997. From 1998 to 2002, Klaus served as a parliamentary speaker.

An academic of international economic relations and international trade, Vaclav Klaus graduated from the Prague School of Economics in 1963. Later, the economist worked for the Institute of Economics of the Czechoslovak Academy of Sciences, the Czechoslovak State Bank, and the Center for Prognostics of the Czechoslovak Academy of Sciences.

During his life-long journey as an author and academic, Vaclav Klaus has collected eight honorary degrees and nineteen international awards, including the Freedom Award and the Konrad Adenauer Prize. He has published over twenty books, including Dismantling Socialism: The Road to a Market Economy; Economic Theory and Economic Reform; and The Czech Way.

"It was much more difficult to change the economic system. We had to liberalize prices (after 40 years of frozen and administered prices), liberalize foreign trade (abolishing state monopoly of foreign trade and opening the protected economy) and liberalize entry into the market for all types of enterprises (private as well as foreign). It was necessary to do it before all subsequen t, slower steps could be made," Klaus added during the October 16 conference in Mexico.

Vaclav Klaus has earned honorary degrees at home as well as abroad, from such institutions as the Rochester Institute of Technology in New York, Tufts University in Boston, the University of Guadalajara in Mexico, Belgrano University in Argentina, and Universitat Passau in Germany, among others.

Embassy Staff Changes

During the course of last year, many of our colleagues came to the end of their tours of duty. Two diplomats from the political section, Nicol Adamcova and Jan Maisler, left Washington during the summer of 2002 and resumed their careers back at the Foreign Ministry in Prague. They were replaced by Martina Tauberova and Petr Chalupecky, new acquisitions from Prague. Shortly after the presidential visit, the head of the political section, Hana Mottlova, was also due to return home to the Czech Republic. The cultural section went through so me changes, as well. Their new head is now Jakub Skalnik, formerly a science and education secretary from the economic section. Eduard Metela, formerly the head of the cultural section, has been designated as the head of administration and management. The cultural section also lost their veteran of cultural events at the Czech Embassy, Marcel Sauer, who spent almost six years in the United States. A new arrival to the Embassy is Ivo Broskevic, who came at the beginning of October 2002 and is in charge of issues related to Americans of Czech ancestry and their organizations.

Fairly recently, vice-consul Marcel Audy finished his assignment in the middle of November 2002 and returned to Prague, where he now serves at the Consular Department of the Foreign Ministry. Marcel was replaced by Martin Klucar, who was previously posted as a consul in Los Angeles. Prior to his posting in Washington, he worked at the HR Department of the Foreign Ministry.

Last spring, Jaroslav Kosa from the military section returned to the Ministry of Defense. His post has been assumed by Jaroslav Smrz. In the fall of 2002, Miloslav Fikar retired and returned to his homeland, being replaced by Assistant Defense, Military and Air Attaché Jiri Niedoba. In February of 2003, Defense and Military Attaché, Major General Rostislav Kotil was replaced by Brigadier General Jan Petras.

We would like to thank all of our former colleagues for their efforts at work, as well as for their friendship. We wish them success in their future endeavors.

Message from the AFoCR Treasurer

The 2002 calendar year was perhaps the most active year in the history of our organization. Our efforts are continuing into 2003 as we complete "Masaryk Park" and form the "Masaryk Scholarship Endowment." We hope that we can count on your continued support.

We are certain that you will be interested in learning more about our activities. My narrative "Urgent Message from the Treasurer" is available to all. You can obtain a full copy by visiting our web site at and going to the specific report at, or by requesting a printed copy by writing to: American Friends of the Czech Republic, 2801 M Street, N.W., Washington, DC 20007 or sending an E-Mail to:

Questions can be directed to Peter A. Rafaeli, AFoCR Treasurer at or by calling 215.646.7777.

News in Brief

President Klaus Vows to Work With Current CSSD-Led Government

Thanking lawmakers that endorsed his candidacy, Klaus said in his first reaction after his election on February 28 that he wants "to assure the Czech government that I am prepared for fruitful and efficient work with it, for the good of this country." Prime Minister Spidla said he will be "capable of cooperating very well" with Klaus as Presi dent, conceding the vote was "a defeat" but adding that Klaus was democratically elected.

Czech Cabinet Approves Foreign Policy Priorities

On March 3, the cabinet approved its foreign policy priorities up to 2006 — when the current electoral term ends, CTK reported. The priorities include membership in the EU; close relations with NATO, the United States, and neighboring countries; fighting international terrorism, and promoting Czech economic interests.

U.S. President Congratulates New Czech Head of State

Vaclav Klaus spoke by telephone on March 6 with U.S. President George W. Bush, who congratulated him on his election. Journalist Tomas Klvana, appointed the same day to be Klaus's presidential spokesman, said Bush wished Klaus "all the best in the fulfillment of his difficult task."

New Czech President Urges Nation to Look to Future with Confidence and Optimism

In his first address to the nation as Pre sident, Vaclav Klaus said that he will do his utmost "to fulfill the expectations not (continued on page 3) (continued from page 2) only of those who wanted me at Prague Castle, but also to increase the number of my supporters among those who did not vote for me." Klaus said his assumption of the presidency does not signify a revolutionary change: "Over the years that we have lived in freedom, the country has created good conditions for the future. I am starting my presidential term with the sentiment that I can follow up on the positive things (already achieved, and) I include here the work of my predecessor, Vaclav Havel. Let us look into the future with confidence, optimism, and also with a smile," the President concluded.

Center-Left Coalition Survives Confidence Vote

The tripartite government of Vladimir Spidla won a vote of confidence from lawmakers on March 11 in a vote the Prime Minister requested after the presidential vote exposed divisions am ong coalition legislators. The motion was approved 101 to 99. The Social Democratic Party's (CSSD) alliance with the Christian Democratic Union-People's Party and the Freedom Union-Democratic Union controls 101 seats in the 200-member Chamber of Deputies.

NATO Invests Billions of Crowns in Czech Military Infrastructure

NATO will invest a total of 5.4 billion crowns in five military infrastructure projects in the Czech Republic, Deputy Defense Minister Jan Vana told journalists at a seminar on the fourth anniversary of the country's admission. Most projects relate in some way to air space defense. (continued on page 4) (continued from page 3) The Alliance had participated in the building of a fundamental communication and information system. Now, it co-finances the reconstruction of the airports in Caslav, central Bohemia and Namest nad Oslavou, south Moravia. Those are to be turned into two NATO standard tactical airforce bases.

Government A pproves Money Transfer From Hospital Unit in Kuwait

The cabinet approved a bill under which 170 million crowns, originally designated to finance the Czech field hospital in Afghanistan, will be used to cover the Czech military chemical specialists' stay in Kuwait. The money will be transferred to the 1st Czech-Slovak battalion of radiation, chemical, and biological defense in Kuwait.

President Klaus Visits Slovakia

Newly-appointed Czech President Vaclav Klaus paid his first state visit to Slovakia for a one-day trip. President Klaus spent the day in talks with his Slovak counterpart, Rudolf Schuster, and other senior Slovak officials.

Government Approves EU Entry Treaty for Spidla to Sign in April

The Czech government has approved the treaty on entrance to the EU, a necessary step for the Czech Republic's future membership that is expected to occur in May of 2004. The treaty determines the conditions of membership. In mi d-April, Premier Vladimir Spidla is to sign it, along with other leaders of both EU candidate and member states, (continued on page 5) (continued from page 4) at the summit in Athens. Czech citizens will vote on their country's accession to the EU in a referendum in June. According to public opinion polls, support for EU membership is gradually rising.

Cabinet Approves Field Hospital for Iraq

The Czech government approved a plan to send a Czech military field hospital to Iraq in response to the UN's warning of an imminent humanitarian disaster. The six-month deployment includes about 300 people, roughly half of them trained medical personnel. The field-hospital staff will complement the continuing presence of nearly 400 members of a combined Czech and Slovak NBC unit already in Kuwait, where the field hospital will be based until it is needed elsewhere.

The CR Submits National Development Plan to the EC

The Czech Republic submit ted its National Development Plan to the European Commission on March 3, 2003. The Plan is the fundamental programming document necessary for the allocation of financial means from the EU Structural Funds and the Cohesion Fund. The NDP’s main objective to be achieved is sustainable development of the Czech economy based on competitiveness, with an emphasis put on its growth, human resources development, improvement of the environment and quality of life, and balanced development of the regions. On the basis of this document, the Czech Republic will be able to obtain more than EURO 2.1 billion in the period between 2004-2006.

CSA Offers Ten Weekly Flights From NYC to Prague

Beginning June 16, 2003, Czech Airlines (CSA) will be offering ten flights to New York every week. The Czech carrier is returning to Newark Airport after a year and a half. JFK is to remain in the CSA network, and from May 20, 2003 it will be operated to on a daily basis. CSA has become a renowned carrier and competitor in the U.S. market, and to meet the demand of its passengers for flights to New York, the airline is increasing its number of flights to ten per week as of June 16.

"Ten flights a week to New York reflect the demand of our passengers. CSA, with its key position in Central Europe is becoming ever more attractive. Passengers visit the Czech Republic as a tourist center or use Prague as an important hub to further destinations, and they visit New York as tourists or business people," said Dan Plovajko, Director of Public Relations, CSA.

The flights will be operated by Airbus A310-300 aircraft, where passengers may enjoy excellent service in either Travel or Business Class. A wide selection of wines, aperitifs and other soft drinks, as well as different hot meals, should ensure that everyone feels "at home in the sky."

History of Prague - New York Flights

The first CSA airplane t o North America took off in 1970. New York and Montreal, Canada entered the CSA network on May 4 and operations to these destinations have never been interrupted. Throughout the 33 years of the route between New York and Prague, CSA has operated to both JFK and Newark Airports. Now, after a one and a half year break, the Czech flag carrier is returning to Newark on June 16, 2003, and will be operating three flights a week. There will be seven flights per week to JFK Airport.

Czech Airlines

Representation in New York

1350 Avenue of Americas

New York, NY 10019-4702

Tel: (212)765-6545

Fax: (212)765-6588

Trade Shows in the Czech Republic

Brno Exhibition Center

April 13 - 17

IBF - International Building Fair

SHK BRNO 2003 - International Trade Fair for Sanitation, Heating, Air conditioning and Building Automation

URBIS - Investment Opportunity Forum Technology and Equipment for Towns and Communities

April 28 - 30

IDET - International Exhibition of Defense and Security Technologies and Special Information Systems

May 20 - 23

EmbaxPrint - International Trade Fair of Packaging, Paper and Printing Industry - materials, machines and technologies

G+H - International Trade Fair for Hotels, Restaurants and Catering.

Prague Exhibition Ground

June 7 - 12

Autosalon Brno 2003 - International Motor Show

April 8 - 11

25th international medical fair

Handicap - 7th specialized exhibition for handicapped people: Pragomedica, Pragofarma, Pragooptik, Pragolabora

April 15 - 18

ITC Prague - 5th exhibition of information technology and communication.

Business in Brief

March 17 Preliminary figures from the Czech Insur ance Association show that the insurance market rose by 13% last year, to CZK 89.5 billion (USD 3 billion). Insurance company Ceska (CP) led in both categories, followed by Kooperativa, Allianz, CSOB and Generali, in non-life and Nationale-Nederlanden, CSOB, Kooperativa and Allianz on the life side. Overall Kooperativa was No.2, followed by Allianz.

March 20 Recently published fears of a sharp increase in prices after an EU accession are unfounded. It is true that a basket of goods cost 50% more in France than in the CR, but the same basket costs about the same in Spain and Greece. They have been members for 15 years and have not faced sharp price increases. The same basket of goods costs 35% more in Poland, 27% more in Hungary, and 35% less in Slovakia.

March 26 IT Minister Mlynar and Cesky Telecom CEO Felix met in New York with Atlantic West, which owns 49% of the cell phone provider Eurotel. The two sides reached a preliminary agreement calli ng for Telecom, the 51% owner of Eurotel, to buy Atlantic West’s 49% stake for USD 1.29 billion. The contract could by signed by the end of May.

March 31 Preliminary figures from CNB (Czech National Bank) show that Czech banks and building & loans netted a record CZK 30.4bn (USD 1.03bn) last year, up 80% over 2001. The CNB attributed this to higher fee income, lower reserves, and cost-cutting associated with layoffs and branch reductions. Employment in banking fell from 51,000 at the end of 1998 to 40,000 at the end of last year. The banks’ 2002 results should convince the public of the strength of the industry.

April 4 A GfK survey found that 34% of Czechs have made a purchase on the Internet last year. The figure was about the same in 2001. Czechs are not yet totally confident about using a payment card on-line.

April 9 The Tourism Authority estimated that inward tourism will rise upon EU accession. In the first ye ar, mainly commercial visits would increase. A rise in recreational travel would occur in 2007-8. In 2008, it should increase to 6.8 million tourists, as compared to an expected 4.2 million this year. This would boost tourism revenue by CZK 50 billion, to CZK 140 billion. EU accession should immediately lead to more Czechs going abroad.

NCSML Conference a Success

The National Czech and Slovak Museum and Library held "The Czech and Slovak 20th Century in Retrospect: The Decade of Turmoil, 1938-1948," a Czech and Slovak History and Culture Conference, on March 7 and 8, 2003 in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

Various speakers, mainly academics, authors, and those with first-person accounts explored the history and culture of the Czech and Slovak lands. The program primarily focused on the World War II period, as well as the ensuing years. Topics of discussion included the OSS (Office of Special Services) in Slovakia, the Jewish and Roma experience, the liberation of Pilsen, and the Czech airmen, etc.

Some of the specific sessions centered on the Meeting of Presidents: T.G. Masaryk and Edvard Benes with Woodrow Wilson and F.D. Roosevelt; The Shadow of Memory: Legacies of Lidice; The Trial of Jozef Tiso and the Weaknesses of Postwar Czechoslovak Democracy; as well as The Struggle for Slovakia: Catholics, Communists, and Democrats, 1945-1948.

The conference was sponsored by the International Programs University of Iowa; Humanities Iowa; and the Center for Russian, East European and Eurasian Studies at the University of Iowa.

Jaromir Nohavica Comes to the U.S.A. in June

Concerts Scheduled at the American Czech-Slovak Cultural Club in North Miami and the Czech Embassy in Washington

On Tuesday, June 3, 2003, Jaromir Nohavica will perform at the American Czech-Slovak Cultural Club for the first time.

Composer, lyrici st, and folk singer Jaromir Nohavica (born in 1953, Ostrava, Czechoslovakia) has played guitar since he was 13. He began his studies at the Mining University but eventually left the school. He tried various jobs and finally ended up working as a freelance lyricist. He gained fame with his first song for Marie Rottrova, "You Smell of Rain, My Love." He lives in Cesky Tesin with his wife and two children.

In 1982, Mr. Nohavica began performing in public, and soon a number of his songs gained wide popularity. His first album, Aimless, which was released in 1988, immediately sold out of stores. An aura of myth arose around Nohavica that survived even the crisis period of his treatment for alcoholism. His subsequent release of the lovely, slightly pessimistic Mickey Mausoleum, an album of mainly melancholy songs, proved to be a clear sign that Nohavica was once again back up to his full powers of composition.

Though Mickey Mausoleum seemed a tough album to t op, Nohavica released Strange Century in 1996. He and his producer employed new instruments and voices for the new songs on the album, and it became a huge success. Two years later, the Jaromir Nohavica Group came out with Concert, a record featuring Nohavica playing with a band. This fact recognizably changed his music. More currently, Nohavica starred in the film Rok Dabla (Year of the Devil), which was awarded The Grand Prix - Crystal Globe at the 37th Karlovy Vary International Film Festival in 2002.

The concert at the Czech Embassy, 3900 Spring of Freedom, NW, Washington, DC, will be held on June 1st, 2003 at 7:30 PM. For more info, please call 202-274 9100, ext. 105.

Nohavica’s June 3rd concert at the AMSCC club will begin at 7:30 PM. Doors open at 6:00 PM. For more information please call 305-891 9130 or go to

Frantisek Khynl, Czech-American Art Patron, Passes Away

Last year, Frantisek Khynl, the 95-year old Czech/US citizen, goldsmith and jeweler, endowed his homeland, the Czech Republic, with his life’s legacy — artistic instruments made of gold and other valuables.

In the future, this collection will be showcased in Sychrov Castle near Turnov, where Khynl was born on June 25, 1907 and where he graduated from the local goldsmith school in 1925.

Mr. Khynl moved to Australia in 1949, and then relocated to the United States after ten years, where he first resided in Hollywood and then New York City. Throughout the years, he continuously dedicated himself to jewelry and art until his death on March 25, 2003.

While Frantisek Khynl was laid to rest in the US, his life-long work is to be deposited in the place of his birth, the Czech Republic.

Museum of Arts and Design Celebrates Libensky

The Czech Republic has a tradition of glass making that goes back generations. To this day, Bohemian crystal, which was founded in the 17th century, holds a world-class reputation. The Bohemians discovered this unique mode by adding chalk to the glass — the result was a form of thicker glass that enabled engraving and possessed a more compelling gleam. Today, the Czech Republic is dotted with approximately 48 glass factories that generate primarily hand-made products.

Glass sculpture, a new field also known as studio glass that sprang from the Czech glass culture, is one of the most modern developments of the past decade. Studio glass is an artistic phenomenon that broke the bounds of glass as a mere decorative form and transgressed the medium to the level of powerful sculptural expression. The Czech Republic, a leader in studio glass, continues to sculpt new generations of artists in Prague’s acclaimed Academy of Applied Art. Most celebrated among this genus of sculptors and teachers are Stanislav Libensky and his wife, Jaroslava Brychtova.

This year, New York’s Museum of Arts and Design offers the only exhibition of Libensky’s art in the U.S. Libensky and His Students: 44 Czech Glass Artists is the first exhibition to explore the zealous artistic relationship between a legendary teacher and his art students. The exhibition, featuring a display of 73 works created by 41 different artists, will run through June 8, 2003.

For more information concerning the exhibition, go to

Czech Events Around the U.S. A.

Every Weekend Czech Voice of Cleveland with Joe Kocab on WERE AM/1300 Saturdays 2 - 3 PM, WERE AM/1300 Sundays 1 - 3 PM

Through September 28, 2003 The National Czech & Slovak Museum & Library (NCSML) hosts Glass Behind the Iron Curtain: Czech Design, 1948-1978. This powerful exhibition is drawn from the permanent collection at The Corning Museum of Glass (CMoG) in Corning, New York . At the National Czech & Slovak Museum & Library, located at 30 16th Avenue SW, Cedar Rapids, IA. For more information, please contact the NCSML at 319.362.8500 or visit

May 4 The National Czech and Slovak Museum and Library presents Life Long Learning. Cedar Rapids historian Mark Hunter and NCSML Museum Educator Jan Stoffer Tursi present "River Run Project." Learn about the history of the Czech Village in Cedar Rapids. At 2:00 PM at the Heritage Hall, 30 16th Avenue SW, Cedar Rapids, IA . Admission is free.

May 12 The National Czech and Slovak Museum and Library presents Káva a Knihy (Coffee and Books) with a discussion of "How I Came to Know Fish" by Ota Pavel. 7:00 — 9:00 PM at the Heritage Hall admission is free.

May 14 Dr. Martin Palous, Ambassador of the Czech Republic to the USA, cordially invites you to a special seminar by Dr. Miloslav Rechcigl, President of the Czechoslovak Societ y of Arts and Sciences (SVU) on "President Bush, Senator John F. Kerry, Secretary of State Colin L., Powell, Queen Victoria, Winston Churchill . . . have Czech Roots. Guess Who Else?"

Dr. Rechcigl, a noted scholar, author and genealogist, will take you on an exciting journey through Czech history and genealogy from the times of Duke Borivoj and St. Ludmila in the ninth century A.D., and the golden era of the Kingdom of Bohemia (especially under holy Roman Emperor Charles IV of Bohemia and the Hussite King George of Podebrady), to the discovery of the New World, the early pioneer settlers from the Czech lands to Colonial America, the immigration of the Moravian Brethren — the spiritual followers of John Hus "The Martyr" and Bishop John Amos Comenius, the canonization of the first American male, Saint John Nepomucene Neumann of Bohemia, and much more.

Attendees can talk to Dr. Rechcigl in person during the reception scheduled to follow at 7:30 PM, W ednesday, May 14, 2003at the Embassy of the Czech Republic, 3900 Spring of Freedom St., NW, Washington, DC 20008. Please RSVP to 202-274 9100, ext. 127.

May 16, 17 & 18 The National Czech and Slovak Museum and Library presents Houby Days. The Czech Village Association’s 26th Annual Czech festival kicks off with a Taste of Czech and Slovak at the National Czech & Slovak Museum & Library on Friday, May 16. The celebration continues on Saturday and Sunday with outstanding music, dancing, parades, activities, crafts, and demonstrations, not to mention the food. May pole dancing and the Miss Czech-Slovak Iowa Pageant are part of the fun. For more information, call (319) 362-8500.

May 26 The Czech and Slovak Heritage Association of Maryland hosts a Memorial Day ceremony at the historic Bohemian National Cemetery at 1300 Horner’s Lane in Northeast Baltimore. For more information, please visit

May 29 The National Czech and Slovak Museum and Library presents a Porcelain Painting Class. Learn basic porcelain painting techniques with instructor JoAnne Neff. This class is for any student who has already completed one regular porcelain painting class at the NCSML. At 6:30 PM at the Heritage Hall. Fee to be announced.

July 2 - 6 Sokol USA Slet, Valparaiso, IL. For more information, please see

July 13 Cesky Den Northeast Ohio, Taborville, OH. For more information, please see