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Three candidates shortlisted for the 2023 Václav Havel Prize  05/09/23

The selection panel of the Václav Havel Human Rights Prize, which rewards outstanding civil society action in defence of human rights in Europe and beyond, has today announced the shortlist for the 2023 Award. Meeting in Prague today, the panel – made up of independent figures from the world of human rights and chaired by the President of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) Tiny Kox – decided to shortlist the following three nominees, in alphabetical order: More

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Three candidates shortlisted for the 2022 Václav Havel Human Rights Prize  06/09/22

The discussion among the seven-member jury helmed by the president of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe centred on the importance of the issue of human rights during this tense period. The finalists include Vladimir Kara-Murza, a political prisoner and leading Russian democracy campaigner; Ukraine’s 5 AM Coalition, which gathers evidence of human rights abuses stemming from Russia’s invasion of the country; and Hungary’s Rainbow Coalition defending LGBTQIA+ rights. “This year’s selection reflects the central role that human rights play in the current European crisis,” says Michael Žantovský, jury member and executive director of the Václav Havel Library, which bestows the prize in cooperation with the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe and Nadace Charty 77.

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The Other Europe  27/04/22

Dear Friends, After three years we have completed the international project The Other Europe, during which, in cooperation with partner institutions, we have processed and made public recordings of interviews shot in 1987 and 1988 behind the Iron Curtain, and in exile, with important representatives of the opposition and the arts, as well as random citizens. Over those three years we have prepared video, audio and text of 106 interviews in speakers’ native languages and English translation. Despite public health restrictions in the Covid period, we have jointly prepared 16 international conferences and public presentations in six Central and Eastern European states. More

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From Schuman to Havel – what next?  16/02/22

The Václav Havel Library is a proud partner of the project Beyond Robert Schuman’s Europe More

Program for May 2023<>

Debate N: The Ordered Mind, or Every Day Critical Thinking

Debate N: The Ordered Mind, or Every Day Critical Thinking

  • Where: Václav Havel Library, Ostrovní 13, Prague 110 00
  • When: May 2, 2023, 19:00 – 21:00

A debate on the issue of critical thinking for every day (not only in) crisis periods. Deník N editor Lenka Vrtišková Nejezchlebová will discuss forensic genetics with the critical thinking (Bayesian inference) populariser and lecturer Halina Šimková and the Slovak philosopher, teacher, politician and co-author of the book Pořádek v hlavě (The Ordered Mind), Martin Poliačik.

Aleš Palán and Libuše Jarcovjáková Discuss Mum, I Love You

Aleš Palán and Libuše Jarcovjáková Discuss Mum, I Love You

  • Where: Václav Havel Library, Ostrovní 13, Prague 110 00
  • When: May 3, 2023, 19:00 – 21:00

What to do if mother’s love fails to develop and a bond is not formed? And the opposite. How is it to be destroyed with worry about a daughter? In the book Mami, miluju (Mum, I Love You) two-time Magnesia Litera winner Aleš Palán and his daughter Anna have explored one of the most important but also complicated of relationships, that between a mother and daughter. They spoke with five women trying to come to terms with such pathological or absent relationships. The book is illustrated by the photographs of Libuše Jarcovjáková, winner of the Personality of Czech Photography prize and Czech Grand Design nominee. Denisa Novotná will moderate.

Chinese Red Roulette

Chinese Red Roulette

  • Where: Václav Havel Library, Ostrovní 13, Prague 110 00
  • When: May 4, 2023, 19:00 – 21:00

The entrepreneur and billionaire Desmond Shum’s memoir deservedly earned worldwide attention. Not just because of the dramatic external events – Shum’s wife and business partner Whitney Duan mysteriously disappeared in Beijing in 2017 and there has been no sign of her for five years. The book also offers a unique insight into the red aristocracy that is the Chinese political and economic elite and explores the rise of current president Xi Jinping. Charles University Faculty of Arts sinologists Olga Lomová and Martin Hála, who are both with the project Sinopsis, will discuss the book Red Roulette and issues surrounding contemporary China with the book’s editor Filip Outrata.

VH Library at Book World Prague

VH Library at Book World Prague

  • Where: Výstaviště Praha - Holešovice, Areál Výstaviště 67, 170 90 Praha 7
  • When: May 11, 2023, 10:00 – May 14, 2023, 16:00

At this year’s Book World Prague trade fair you will find a Václav Havel Library stand with both new and classic titles, posters and other essential items at a hall erected beside the Křižík Pavilion B.

Jubilee 10th Václav Havel European Dialogues International Conference: Europe in a Clash of Two Worlds

Jubilee 10th Václav Havel European Dialogues International Conference: Europe in a Clash of Two Worlds

  • Where: Václav Havel Library, Ostrovní 13, Prague 110 00
  • When: May 11, 2023, 18:00 – 21:00

Throughout his life Václav Havel was in the habit of asking awkward questions. One of them concerned where Europe began and ended. Linked to this was also the question of where Russia began and ended. The answer to the first of those two questions – which was the focus of a European Dialogues international conference organised five years ago by the VHL in cooperation with ZEK – is in Václav Havel’s view more linked to the set of values and cultural wealth created by Europe over two millennia than to geography. Havel suggested that Russia itself had been searching for the answer to the second question for centuries. Instead of gradually moving closer to democratic and European norms, Russia has taken the opposite path, causing bloodshed on Europe’s eastern borders that threatens the results of more than 75 years of largely peaceful development. “European values” and the “Russian world” have found themselves in irreconcilable opposition. The future of the entire continent depends on the outcome of this conflict, which concerns more than the independence and territorial integrity of Ukraine.

Diplomat and human rights advocate Martin Palouš and the head of the Representation of the European Commission in CR, Monika Ladmanová, will appear in the debate organised in cooperation with the latter organisation. Also taking part will be Polish historian and political scientist Łukasz Adamski, political geographer Michael Romancov and Russian historian and political scientist.

Investigative journalist Jan Moláček will chair the discussion.

The programme will take place in Russian and Czech with simultaneous interpretation provided.

The event will also be streamed live online on www.havelchannel.cz

Media partner of the debate is Deník N.

Jindřich Mann: The Silver Magician

Jindřich Mann: The Silver Magician

  • Where: Václav Havel Library, Ostrovní 13, Prague 110 00
  • When: May 15, 2023, 19:00 – 21:00

Jiří Peňás will discuss his new novel Stříbrný kouzelník (The Silver Magician) with author Jindřich Mann.

Debate with Respekt

Debate with Respekt

  • Where: Václav Havel Library, Ostrovní 13, Prague 110 00
  • When: May 16, 2023, 19:00 – 21:00

Discussion between editors of the weekly Respekt and their guests. For more information and the names of guests visit www.vaclavhavel.cz prior to the event.

Constantin Sigov: The Message from Kyiv on Ukraine and Europe

Constantin Sigov: The Message from Kyiv on Ukraine and Europe

  • Where: Václav Havel Library, Ostrovní 13, Prague 110 00
  • When: May 17, 2023, 19:00 – 21:00

Poselství z Kyjeva o Ukrajině a Evropě (The Message from Kyiv on Ukraine and Europe), a book by Kyiv philosopher Constantin Sigov contains interviews and articles from the first six weeks of the Ukrainian war while also delivering a valuable account of the period when Russian forces stood before Kyiv and deep reflection on the meaning of this war. “We are not just saving our own skins, we are defending the ideals of dignity and freedom,” says Sigov, a leading figure in Ukraine’s Revolution of Dignity from the turn of 2014.

Taking part in this debate with Sigov will be the translators of the book, Lenka Karfíková and Filip Karfík, while topics will include the motives for Putin’s aggression, the moral underpinnings of Ukrainian resistance and the war’s significance for Europe.

Chaired by Jáchym Topol.

Interpretation provided.

Echo from the Library

Echo from the Library

  • Where: Václav Havel Library, Ostrovní 13, Prague 110 00
  • When: May 23, 2023, 19:00 – 21:00

Debate series with editors from the weekly Týdeník Echo and their guests in cooperation with the Václav Havel Library. Lenka Zlámalová will chair the discussion. For the theme and the names of guests, visit www.vaclavhavel.cz prior to the event.

The Phenomenon of Russian Emigration, Then and Now

The Phenomenon of Russian Emigration, Then and Now

  • Where: Václav Havel Library, Ostrovní 13, Prague 110 00
  • When: May 29, 2023, 19:00 – 21:00

The Bolshevik revolution and civil war sparked a huge wave of emigration from Russia, with exiles finding a safe haven in interwar Czechoslovakia. In a similar manner today Russians opposed for various reasons to Putin’s authoritarian regime and brutal war against brave Ukraine are heading for the Czech Republic and Europe. Russian emigration in the face of the current the country’s imperialist frenzy will be discussed by Russian historian and political scientist Andrej Zubov, descendant of Russian émigrés Alexej Kelin and Russia expert Milan Dvořák. Historian and philosopher Petr Hlaváček will moderate.

The debate will also include the “baptism” of Nikolaj Kelin’s book Paměti donského Kozáka a českého lékaře (Memoirs of a Don Cossack and Czech Doctor), published by Jota.

The Quest for Balance, or The Life of a Judge

The Quest for Balance, or The Life of a Judge

  • Where: Václav Havel Library, Ostrovní 13, Prague 110 00
  • When: May 31, 2023, 19:00 – 21:00

Presentation of Hledání rovnováhy aneb Život soudce (The Quest for Balance, or The Life of a Judge), a book-length interview conducted by Tomáš Němeček with Josef Baxa, co-founder of the Supreme Administrative Court. Taking part in a debate about the establishment of a state of law and the Czech judiciary alongside Josef Baxa and Tomáš Němeček will be Constitutional Court chief justice Pavel Rychetský.

Havel Channel

Havel Channel je audiovizuální projekt Knihovny Václava Havla, jehož cílem je šířit myšlenkový, literární a politický odkaz Václava Havla, bez ohledu na vzdálenost, zeměpisné hranice či nouzové stavy. Jeho páteř tvoří debaty, vzdělávací projekty a rozhovory. Velký prostor je věnován též konferencím, autorským čtením, záznamům divadelních inscenací a koncertům. Audiovizuální projekt Knihovny Václava Havla Havel Channel se uskutečňuje díky laskavé podpoře Karel Komárek Family Foundation.

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Publications / E-shop

The central focus of the Library’s publishing programme is the life and work of Václav Havel, his family and close collaborators and friends. For clarity, the programme is divided into six series: Václav Havel Library Notebooks, Václav Havel Library Editions, Student Line, Talks from Lány, Václav Havel Documents, Works of Pavel Juráček and Václav Havel Library Conferences. Titles that cannot be incorporated into any of the given series but which are nonetheless important for the Library’s publishing activities are issued independently, outside the series framework.

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Conferences & prizes

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Václav Havel European Dialogues

The Václav Havel European Dialogues is an international project that aims to initiate and stimulate a discussion about issues determining the direction of contemporary Europe while referring to the European spiritual legacy of Václav Havel. This idea takes its main inspiration from Václav Havel’s essay “Power of the Powerless”. More than other similarly focused projects, the Václav Havel European Dialogues aims to offer the “powerless” a platform to express themselves and in so doing to boost their position within Europe.

The Václav Havel European Dialogues is planned as a long-term project and involves cooperation with other organisations in various European cities. Individual meetings, which take the form of a conference, are targeted primarily at secondary and third-level students, as well as specialists and members of the public interested in European issues.

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Václav Havel Human Rights Prize

The Václav Havel Human Rights Prize is awarded each year by the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) in partnership with the Václav Havel Library and the Charta 77 Foundation to reward outstanding civil society action in the defence of human rights in Europe and beyond.

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Havel - Albright Transatlantic Dialogues

Since the first Václav Havel Transatlantic Dialogues at GLOBSEC and FORUM 2000 conferences last year, we have lost another stalwart advocate of the transatlantic bond and of the need to face threats to democracy and international order together on both sides of the Atlantic, the former US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright. In view of the close bond between Václav Havel and Madeleine Albright and, after Havel's death, between the Secretary and the Library, the Václav Havel Library, with the approval of Madeleine Albright's family, renamed and rebranded the program as The Havel-Albright Transatlantic Dialogues (HATD), after the two major figures with roots in Central Europe who have personified the bond. Together, Václav Havel and Madeleine Albright symbolize the transatlantic relationship and the fundamental values underpinning it perhaps better than any other two people in recent history. The upcoming Dialogues “The Indispensable Woman: The Legacy of Madeleine K. Albright”, at the FORUM 2000 conference on September 1, and at the “Havel and our Crisis” conference at Colby College, ME, on September 28, will thus become venues for a well-deserved tribute to the pair we all respected and admired.

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Václav Havel

Václav Havel
* 5. 10. 1936 Praha
† 18. 12. 2011 Hrádeček u Trutnova

1936
Foto
Václav Havel grew up
in a well-known, wealthy entrepreneurial
and intellectual family.
1951
Foto
Václav Havel completed primary schooling. Because
of his "bourgeois" background, options for
higher education were limited.
1951
Foto
Václav Havel worked as a chemical laboratory technician
while attending evening classes at a high school
from which he graduated in 1954.
1955
Foto
Václav Havel studied at the
Economics Faculty of the Czech
Technical University in Prague.
1960
Foto
Václav Havel began working at Prague's Theatre on
the Balustrade, first as a stagehand and later as
an assistant director and literary manager.
1963
Foto
Havel´s first play The Garden
Party was staged at Prague's
Theatre on the Balustrade.
1964
Foto
Václav Havel
married Olga
Splichalova.
1966
Foto
VH finished studies at at the
Theatre Faculty of the Academy of
Performing Arts in Prague .
1968
Foto
Václav Havel played an active role in
democratization and renewal of culture during the
era of reforms, known as Prague Spring.
1969
Foto
Havel's work were banned in Czechoslovakia. He
moved from Prague to the country, continued
his activities against the Communist regime.
1974
Foto
Václav Havel worked as a manual laborer
at a local brewery near Hrádeček in
the north of the Czech Republic.
1975
Foto
Václav Havel wrote an open
letter to President Gustav Husak,
criticizing the government.
1977
Foto
Václav Havel co-founded the Charter 77
human rights initiative and was one
of its first spokesmen.
1978
Foto
Václav Havel co-founded The
Committee for the Defense
of the Unjustly Prosecuted.
1979
Foto
Václav Havel was imprisoned several times
for his beliefs, his longest prison
term lasting from 1979 to 1983.
1989
Foto
Václav Havel emerged as one of the
leaders of the November opposition movement, also
known as the Velvet Revolution.
1990
Foto
Václav Havel is elected
President of Czechoslovakia on
December 29.
1993
Foto
Václav Havel is elected, after the
dissolution of Czechoslovakia, the first President
of the Czech Republic.
1996
Foto
On January
27, Olga
Havlova died.
1997
Foto
Václav Havel married Dagmar Veskrnova,
a popular and acclaimed Czech theatrical,
television and movie actress.
1999
Foto
Václav Havel enabled the entry of
the Czech Republic into the North
Atlantic Treat Organisation (NATO).
2003
Foto
Václav Havel left office after
his second term as Czech
president ended on 2 February 2003.
2004
Foto
Foundation of Václav
Havel Library in
Prague.
2004
Foto
The Czech Republic became the 35th
member State of the Council of
Europe on 30 June 1993.
2010
Foto
Václav Havel directed
a film adaptation of
his play Leaving.
2011
Foto
Václav Havel died at his
summer house Hrádeček in the
north of the Czech Republic.
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Educational projects

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Archive / Documentation centre / Research projects

Dokumentační centrum

The Václav Havel Library is gradually gathering, digitizing, and making accessible written materials, photographs, sound recordings and other materials linked to the person of Václav Havel.

  • 67912 records in total
  • 25028 of events in the VH's life
  • 2831 of VH's texts
  • 2125 of photos 
  • 403of videos
  • 567of audios
  • 6603of letters
  • 15101of texts about VH
  • 8126 of books
  • 38964of bibliography records

Access to the database of the VHL’s archives is free and possible after registering as a user. Accessing archival materials that exist in an unreadable form is only possible at the reading room of the Václav Havel Library, Ostrovní 13, 110 00 Prague 1, every Tuesday (except state holidays) from 9:00 to 17:00, or by prior appointment.

We will be glad to answer your queries at archiv@vaclavhavel-library.org.

Illustration

Havel in a nutshell

The virtual exhibition Václav Havel in a Nutshell places the life story of Václav Havel in the broader cultural and historic context in four chronologically distinct chapters with rich visual accompaniment. The exhibition is supplemented by the interactive map Flying the World with Václav Havel, which captures in physical form Havel’s global “footprint”.

Illustration

Vladimir Hanzel's revolution

Collage of recollections, images and sound recordings from Vladimír Hanzel, President Václav Havel’s personal secretary, bringing the feverish atmosphere of the Velvet Revolution to life.

Illustration

Václav Havel Interviews

A database of all accessible interviews given to print media outlets by the dramatist, writer and political activist Václav Havel between the 1960s and 1989. The resulting collection documents the extraordinary life story of an individual, as well as capturing a specific picture of modern Czechoslovak history at a time when being a free-thinker was more likely to lead to jail than an official public post.

Illustration

Pavel Juráček Archive

The Pavel Juráček Archive arose in February 2014 when his son Marek Juráček handed over six banana boxes and a typewriter case from his father’s estate to the Václav Havel Library. Thousands of pages of manuscripts, typescripts, photographs, documents and personal and official correspondence are gradually being classified and digitalised. The result of this work should be not only to map the life and work of one of the key figures of the New Wave of Czechoslovak film in the 1960s, but also to make his literary works accessible in the book series The Works of Pavel Juráček.

The aim of the Václav Havel Library is to ensure that Pavel Juráček finds a place in the broader cultural consciousness and to notionally build on the deep friendship he shared with Václav Havel. Soon after Juráček’s death in 1989 Havel said of him: “Pavel was a friend of mine whom I liked very much. He was one of the most sensitive and gentle people I have known – that’s why I cannot write more about him.”  

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All about Library

The Václav Havel Library works to preserve the legacy of Václav Havel, literary, theatrical and also political, in particular his struggle for freedom, democracy and the defence of human rights. It supports research and education on the life, values and times of Václav Havel as well as the enduring significance of his ideas for both the present and future.

The Václav Havel Library also strives to develop civil society and active civic life, serving as a platform for discussion on issues related to the support and defence of liberty and democracy, both in the Czech Republic and internationally.

The main aims of the Václav Havel Library include

  • Organizing archival, archival-research, documentary, museum and library activities focused on the work of Vaclav Havel and documents or objects related to his activities, and carries out professional analysis of their influence on the life and self-reflection of society
  • Serving, in a suitable manner, such as through exhibitions, the purpose of education and popularisation functions, thus presenting to the public the historical significance of the fight for human rights and freedoms in the totalitarian period and the formation of civil society during the establishment of democracy
  • Organizing scientific research and publication activities in its areas of interest

Library, documentation centre

Ostrovní 13, 110 00 Praha 1
Tel.: (+420) 222 220 112
info@vaclavhavel-library.org

Opening hours:
every Tuesday
from 9:00 till 17:00

Invoicing address

Knihovna Václava Havla, Foundation Fund
Ostrovní 13, 110 00 Praha 1
IČO 27169413 / DIČ CZ 27169413

Mailing address

Knihovna Václava Havla, Foundation Fund
Ostrovní 13, 110 00 Praha 1

Bank account

7077 7077 / 0300 CZKIBAN: CZ61 0300 0000 0000 7077 7077
7755 7755 / 0300 EURIBAN: CZ40 0300 0000 0000 7755 7755
7747 7747 / 0300 USDIBAN: CZ66 0300 0000 0000 7747 7747
SWIFT CODE: CEKO CZPP
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Staňte se členy Klubu přátel Knihovny Václava Havla

We believe that we are succeeding in fulfilling the vision of Václav Havel, who, when he founded the Library, declared that it only makes sense as a living organism that occupies an unmissable place in the whole of public and political life. We see this as a commitment and inspiration for the future. We would like to use the footage of our hundreds of events in our own internet TV channel, expand our publication programme, develop more e-learning series, start organising workshops for teachers... But all this will require considerable financial resources. That's why we decided to turn to our visitors and supporters for support.

Pomozte nám inspirovat své okolí i Vy!
Přijdete se k nám a staňte se členem Klubu přátel Knihovny VH!

 

Podpořte nás
jednorázově
Přispět

Přítel

1000 KČ / měsíc
Přispět

Váš příspěvek nám pomůže s organizací pravidelných akcí pro veřejnost.

Patron

10000 KČ / měsíc
Přispět

Váš příspěvek nám pomůže rozvíjet náš ediční plán a publikační činnost

Partner

? Kontaktujte nás
pro další informace
Kontaktovat

Váš příspěvek nám pomůže s vývojem vzdělávacích miniserií, audivizuálních projektů, přípravou mezinárodních konferencí...

Support us

Financial donations

If you would like to support the work of the Václav Havel Library or its specific activities or projects by means of a financial donation you can do so via the VHL’s PayPal account

Or by bank transfer to:

ČSOB a. s., Na Poříčí 24, 115 20 Praha 1

  • Crown account number 7077 7077 / 0300 CZK
  • Euro account number 7755 7755 / 0300 EUR
  • Dollar account number 7747 7747 / 0300 USD

If an individual makes a donation of over CZK 1,000, or if a company makes a donation of over CZK 2,000, in one calendar year we will create for you a donation contract confirming the amount of the donation involved; the donor can use this to reduce their tax base in compliance with the law on taxation. For more information, contact us.

Donors with US citizenship can support us through the Vaclav Havel Library Foundation New York.

Donations and loans to the VHL archive

The Václav Havel Library administers an archive of written materials, documents, photographs, video recordings and other materials related to the life and work of Václav Havel. The archive is predominantly digital in form. If you or somebody close to you is the owner of original texts, photographs, speeches or other works produced by Václav Havel we would appreciate it greatly if you contacted us. We will oversee the digitalisation of these documents and place them in our digital archive. If you would like to keep possession of such documents or items, we will return them in perfect condition.  

If a copy or original is donated to the Václav Havel Library, the terms of donation and use will in all cases be agreed with the owner. The names of all donors or owners will be listed alongside the documentary materials in question.

Internships

We offer short and long-term internships at the Václav Havel Library to Czech and foreign students. Interns are particularly welcomed in the fields of library studies and archival science, arts management, journalism, Czech Studies and other areas of the humanities.

We welcome knowledge of English (German and French are also a plus), while knowledge of Czech is an advantage for foreign interns.

Internships range in duration from six weeks to one year, while it is possible to agree on individual duration depending on the requirements of schools. On completion of the internship, the participant receives a certificate with an appraisal. Internships take place on the basis of prior agreement with applicants and dates must be agreed around two months in advance. Václav Havel Library internships are unpaid and we do not cover transport or accommodation costs.

If you are interested in an internship at the Václav Havel Library, contact us at the email address:

Media and promotion cooperation with the VHL

The Václav Havel Library welcomes the mutual exchange of links and the publication of our banners and information about our events. For more information, contact us directly.

Volunteers

The Václav Havel Library welcomes volunteers who would like to assist in our work.  

Česká centraBakala FoundationRockefeller Brothers FundJan BartaAsiana GroupMoneta Money BankThe Vaclav Havel Library FoundationNadace Charty 77Sekyra FoudationVŠEMRicohP3chemTechsoup ČRNewton MediaHlavní město PrahaMinisterstvo kultury ČRMinisterstvo zahraničních věcí ČRUS EmbassyStátní fond kultury