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Klapalova, Martina

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4 articles of this author have been cited in the European Press Review so far.

Lidové noviny - Czech Republic | 12/10/2007

No octopus for Prague?

Plans for the construction of a futuristic national library on Letna Hill near Prague's historic old city centre are on the verge of collapse. The biomorphic design, referred to by the locals as the "octopus" or the "jellyfish", is too much for the conservative majority in the city parliament. Jan Kaplicky, the Czech-born, London-based project architect, voices his indignation in an interview with Martina Klapalova: "You have to reckon with problems with every project. But this is something different. This is a political battle. It reminds me of the burning of Jan Hus at the stake. It's a Czech speciality. Czech society only looks at itself and is unable to see beyond the Bohemian Forest on the country's border."

Lidové noviny - Czech Republic | 07/12/2006

How Catholic is Saint Vitus Cathedral?

The fight over Saint Vitus Cathedral in Prague is going through a new phase. Last year a court declared the cathedral to be the property of the Catholic Church. But official circles don't want to accept this. Martina Klapalova reports on a new petition going around in Prague. More than 15,000 people have joined in pressing the Parliament to oppose the court decision. Historian Dusan Trestik writes: "The conflict shows that the cathedral is an important symbol for us. In Bohemian countries, such a structure is considered first and foremost a national monument, and only then a church. And that is something that, for example, the Poles have never understood: for them, a church is a church. But we live in an atheist state."

Lidové noviny - Czech Republic | 06/11/2006

Prague suffers from a lack of traditional craftsment

Preservationists warn that the Czech capital Prague is gradually losing its architectural beauty. Martina Klapalova explains why: "Each time repairs are done on a historic building, even if it's the most trifling repair, authentic architectural features are wiped out forever. The roofs of the baroque buildings in the city's baroque Malá Strana district are in greatest danger. There are hardly any craftsmen left who have the skills to repair them properly, not to mention rebuild them in the original style. Today's plumbers, roofers and chimney-builders lack the experience and skills of the craftsmen of the past who mastered the old techniques. It's no longer a matter of individual cases but a fundamental problem that will have a negative impact on the originality of Prague's historic centre.

Lidové noviny - Czech Republic | 04/07/2006

A new national library for the Czech Republic

"760 architects from all over the world submitted their designs for the Czech Republic's new national library," Martina Klapalova writes. "Now they must wait until March next year to hear the jury's decision… There are great expectations for the new library. The modern building is to attract thousands of Prague residents daily and house around 10 million books. According to Vlastimil Jezek, director of the library, for 20 years now all the libraries in the world have been complaining about a lack of space. When they were built people did not expect printed media to expand at the rate it has done… The current national library in Prague's historic Klementinum complex is to be converted into a multicultural centre with a Baroque theatre," Klapalova reports.

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