On February 12, 13 and 15 we went to Prague in order to celebrate the 90th Anniversary of the Czech PEN.
We had the occasion to visit the Czech PEN Office, in the Klementinum, an historical baroque building in the Staré Mešto where the National Library resides. We were welcomed by Jiří Dědeček, President, Markéta Hejkalová, Vice President and Dana Mojžíšová, Secretary. Among the many Members of the Czech PEN present we mention only the former President Jiří Stránsky and Tomáš Zmeškal. There was also Giovanni Sciola, Director of the Italian Institute of Culture
Here you have the foreign participants:
Ireney Balaz (PEN Slovakia)
Nadezda Cacinovic (PEN Croatia)
Teresa Cadete (PEN Portugal – PI Board Member)
Magda Carneci (PEN Romania)
Elizabeth Csicsery-Ronay (PEN Hungary)
Antonio Della Rocca (PEN Trieste – PI Board Member)
Ivo Frbezar (PEN Slovenia)
Josef Haslinger (PEN Germany)
Martin Kaunitz (PEN Sweden)
Risto Lazarov (PEN Macedonia)
Gil-Won Lee (PEN Korea – PI Board Member)
Chiara Macconi (PEN Esperanto)
Lina Morselli (PEN Trieste)
Vida Ognjenovic (PEN Serbia – PI International Vice President)
Adam Pomorski (PEN Poland)
Jarkko Tontti (PEN Finland – PI International Treasurer)
Joke van Leeuwen (PEN Vlaanderen)
David van Reybrouck (PEN Vlaanderen)
Vladislav Volko (PEN Slovakia)
After the visit we went to the residence of Mayor of Prague, for the ceremony of the Czech PEN Award, which was given for 2015 to a many-sided artist, Josef Vinklát.
The main day of celebrations was Friday 13 February, when – after a fascinating visit to the Národní Literarní Kavarna - all the program took place at the Café Louvre, in a hall with very interesting documents of Czech PEN. There was a press conference, a lunch, a literary conference - in which all the foreign guests took part - and a cocktail party.
On Saturday morning we had the possibility to visit the villa of Karel Čapek (1890 – 1938), one of the most important Czech novelists. The villa is currently under refitting as a museum and will be open to the public in a short time.
A warm “thank you” to our Friends of the Czech PEN for this occasion to meet, exchange views and strengthen the friendships’ ties that make PEN International different.