Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Radio Prague Today 5.31.2011

Articles posted on www.radio.cz today

Government offers churches less money, more land in property restitution

The Czech government has come up with a new proposal for the restitution of church property confiscated after the communist coup of 1948. Under the new draft, Czech churches and religious groups would get back around 60 percent of the property seized by the state while the rest would be paid in cash. Representatives of Czech churches have welcomed the move but said a detailed analysis was needed before taking a definite stand on the issue.

Czech Republic facing serious problems in Diag Human arbitration case

A drawn-out legal dispute between blood plasma technologies and production company Diag Human and the Czech state has taken a dramatic turn. Last week the company, which claims it is owed close to ten billion crowns by the Czech state for damaging Diag Human's interests, successfully applied to an Austrian court to order the seizure of famous Czech artworks on display in Vienna. Just days after two paintings and a sculpture from the National Gallery and the Moravian Gallery were impounded by court bailiffs, a Paris court has recognized a similar claim, putting Czech state assets in France at risk. Commentator Jan Urban, who has written a book about the longest ever arbitration involving the Czech state, says the Czech Republic has got itself into a bind.

Leoš Janáček, the composer for a new republic

The first two names always given at the top of the pantheon of Czech classical music are Antonín Dvořák and Bedřich Smetana; the third is invariably Leoš Janáček. Probably the most innovative of the three, Janáček likely lags behind the famous duo only because even today, 80 years after his death, musicians, musicologists and music lovers are still reassessing those innovations, which took classical music into uncharted territory.