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České Budějovice

Lavička VH Budějovice

  • address:: USB, Branišovská 1645 / 31a, České Budějovice, Czech Republic
  • installation date: June 11, 2014
  • foto:: Václav Havel Library / Ondřej Němec

At 11:00 on Wednesday 11 June, a Havel’s Place was ceremonially unveiled on the campus of the University of South Bohemia in České Budějovice. České Budějovice became the fifth city in the world, and the University of South Bohemia the second university (after Georgetown University in Washington), where the piece – two armchairs linked by a round table with a Linden tree growing through its centre – will remember the life and work of Václav Havel. Despite tropical weather, several hundred people attended the unveiling, chief among them academics, students and colleagues and friends of Václav Havel.

The Václav Havel Library was represented in České Budějovice by Karel Schwarzenberg, one of its founders, executive director Marta Smolíková and editor Anna Freimanová. Karel Hvížďala, who interviewed Václav Havel for the book Disturbing the Peace, spoke at the unveiling, as did Bořek Šípek, the designer of Havel’s Place. Honoured guests included Sister Angelika and Sister Evangelista, who looked after Václav Havel in the final days of his life; Bishop Jiří Paďour, who for years studied at the Theatre Faculty at the Academy of Performing Arts alongside Václav Havel; Martin Palouš, chairman of the board of directors of the Václav Havel Library and founder of the Václav Havel Center at Florida University; Petr Kolář, former Czech ambassador to Sweden, the USA and Russia; former MPs Jan Ruml, Martin Bursík and Kateřina Jacques; former presidential chancellor Ivo Mathé; and the honorary chairman of the Czech Academy of Sciences, Rudolf Zahradník.

Letters to Olga – essays written in prison, letter

„I am a child of the age of conceptual, rather than mystical, thought and therefore my god as well – if I am compelled to speak of him (which I do very unwillingly) – must appear as something terribly abstract, vague and unattractive. But it appears so only to someone I try to tell about him – the experience itself is quite vivid, intimate and particular, perhaps (…) more lively than for someone whose “normal” God is provided with all the appropriate attributes (which oddly enough can alienate more often than drawing one closer). And something else that is typical of my god: he is a master of waiting, and in doing so he frequently unnerves me. It is as though he set up various possibilities around me and then waited silently to see what I would do. (…) His Last Judgment is taking place now, continuously, always – and yet it is always the last: nothing that has happened can ever un-happen, everything remains in the “memory of Being” – and I too remain there – condemned to be with myself till the end of time – just as I am and just as I make myself.“

Václav Havel:
Letters to Olga – essays written in prison, letter, August 7, 1980

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