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Celebrations of the Velvet Revolution in the USA and the Václav Havel Library

November 18, 2014


The Václav Library and six other institutions have come together to organize celebrations of the 25th anniversary of the Velvet Revolution in the USA; these events reach a climax with the unveiling of a bust of Václav Library at the US Congress on 19 November 2014.

The Václav Havel Library, the Embassy of the Czech Republic in the USA, the American Friends of the Czech Republic, the Václav Havel Foundation New York, the Václav Havel Center at Florida International University, the Library of Congress, and the Prague Freedom Foundation have decided to remember and celebrate the 25thanniversary of the fall of the communist regime with the joint project Celebration of Freedom. 25. Years of Democracy – A salute to Václav Havel.

The programme of the seven-day event, which runs from 16 to 22 November 2014 in Washington, D.C., and New York, is extremely varied. Visitors can enjoy concerts by the Czech Philharmonic, the conference Václav Havel´s Legacy Today, film screenings, the announcement of the results of a student essay competition, a round table on the Iron Curtain, a symposium devoted to the post-communist transformation of Central Europe, a panel discussion on human rights, a meeting with Madeleine Albright and Michael Žantovský linked to the latter’s new biographyHavel: A Life, and other events. The climax of Celebration of Freedom will be the ceremonial unveiling of a bust of Václav Havel at the Statutary Hall in the main building of the Congress of the United States in Washington, D.C., which takes place on Wednesday 19 November at 13:00 (19:00 CET). The bust is the work of Lubomír Janečka, an academic sculptor of Czech origin resident in the US. Mr. Janečka, who was commissioned by the Václav Havel Library, previously made a bust of Václav Havel for the VHL that is located at the Council of Europe in Strasbourg. The new bust is being unveiled at the Congress building by Dagmar Havlová, one of the founders of the Václav Havel Library.

Representing the Václav Havel Library at the celebrations are its executive director Marta Smolíková, chairman of the Board of Trustees and analyst Jan Macháček, and Board of Trustees members Martin Palouš, Jacques Rupnik and Michaela Bakala, along with her husband Zdeněk Bakala; the couple are significant long-term supporters of the Václav Havel Library.

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