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Czech Cultural Week

Speech by Mr. Tonio Casapinta, Honorary Consul of the Czech Republic to Malta on the occasion of the launch of the Czech Cultural Week 19 25th October 2003, St. James Cavalier Valletta

Good morning,

It gives me great pleasure to welcome you to day to the media launch of the CZECH CULTURAL WEEK in Malta - being held at St James Cavalier, Centre for Creativity between the 19th to the 25th October 2003.

These events whilst bringing closer the people of the Czech Republic and Malta, will help to continue strengthening the excellent relations existing between our two countries.

Following my Consulate's continuous promotional efforts of the Czech Republic and it's Capital City Prague, coupled with those made in these last years both by the Maltese - Czech Society (which to-date groups over 100 members), together with those made by our National Airline Air Malta, Czech Airline Fischer s.r.o., and various local travel agents - the City of Prague in particular, has now become a number 1 travel destination for the Maltese Holiday traveler.

The Cultural Week, which we are presenting to the Maltese public in October combines months of preparation and is aimed at offering something to suite all tastes.

The events are being organised by The Consulate of the Czech Republic in Malta with the full support and co-operation of the Embassy of the Czech Republic in Rome and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Prague.

We are honoured that the Czech Cultural Week is receiving the highest and most distinguished patronage of His Excellency the President of Malta, Professor Guido de Marco. As a small gesture of appreciation, we have thought that in return, part of the proceeds that will be derived from the tickets to the various performances will be donated to the "Malta Community Chest Fund".

We are also pleased that we have received the full support of many sponsors, who are making this event possible and hear I wish to publicly thank:

  • The City Council of Prague
  • The Czech Tourism Authority
  • Corinthia Hotels International
  • Fischer Air sro
  • Hamilton Travel
  • St James Cavalier together with the Ministry of Youth and the Arts
  • The Malta Tourism Authority

The events lasting over a week will include two most interesting exhibitions, one on the History and Beauties of the Czech Republic and the other one, a photographic exhibition of hidden treasures in the Czech country by Josef Broz. These, combined with Ethnic and classical music, a film festival, cultural and political talks and a food festival form the main events of our celebrations.

We will open with a Concert by Czech Ethnic Music Group Gajdosi-Brno who together with a most talented Flute and Guitar player, Stanislav Bahadlo, will be giving various concerts during the whole week both at St James as well as performing for the public in Republic Street Valletta.

The Gajdosi - Brno Group perform Bohemian and Moravian renaissance and old Czech tunes. Gajdosi means "bagpipers",. The group is formed of four musicians, led by one of the greatest figures in Czech Ethnic music, the violinist Jindrich Hovorka. Besides the use of strings, guitar and different types of flute, their music also includes bagpipes and percussion, which together with rich vocals create an authentic sound. We are sure that those attending these concerts and who know some Czech tunes will certainly sing along, whilst the others who don't, will most certainly pass some fine moments whilst listening to Bohemian and Moravian music.

Professor Stanislav Bohadlo also an expert in Baroque Arts and Music, will, on one evening lecture to Art lovers on Czech Baroque arts and Music.

Monday 20th will see the official opening of two exhibitions in the Atrium of St James by Hon.Minister Jesmon Mugliett, Minister of Youth and the Arts in the presence of HE Mr Libor Secka, Ambassador of the Czech Republic to Malta. These exhibitions will be open to the public for the whole week and entrance is free of charge.

We are honoured that President and Mrs. de Marco will be attending the Gajdosi - Brno concert zt St James Cavalier on Tuesday 21st October.

A Czech Film Festival will be held at the Cinema of St James Cavalier, projecting the most famous films of Award winning Czech Director and producer Jan Sverak.

We will be showing five films, namely,

Dark Blue World
This film is about the heroism of Czech pilots operating during World War II in the service of the Royal Air Force. The drama of two friends - pilots and an English woman is framed in the environment of a communist prison, where the story is told by one of the imprisoned war heroes.

The Elementary School
An Academy award nominee for the best foreign film. A charming movie takes place in an all-boy school in the suburbs of Prague following the end of World War II.

Based on the script of his father, Zdenek Sverak, who also plays the main role. That of a bachelor who after a sham marriage with a Russian and her emigration to the West, becomes unexpectedly a father to a five-year old boy. This touching story about a growing bond between the aging man and the small Russian boy was awarded an Oscar for the Best Foreign Language Film.

The Accumulator I
A science-fiction spectacle.


The Ride
Two thirty year old buddies, buy a cheap car and head for the open road in the hope of bringing some excitement into their otherwise uninspired routine, when all of a sudden they find a lot more excitement than they'd bargained for.

Tickets for the concerts and film shows, at very reasonable rates are available at the box office of St James.

Corinthia Hotels International, our Main Sponsors are all out to help us making this week a great success. Corinthia are celebrating five years of hospitality leadership in Prague this year. Five years of investment that has transformed the various hotels they own in the Czech Republic and the service they offer into an excellent product. Five years of training and employee development that has created a happy and effective team, making The Corinthia brand, the leading hotel organisation in Prague.

Besides offering accommodation to our artists, Corinthia Palace Hotel in Attard, will be organising Czech Cuisine evenings utilising Chefs from Hotel Panorama in Prague with entertainment provided by the Gajdosi- Brno Ethnic Music Group. Booking for these evenings will soon open from Corinthia Palace Hotel Attard.

HE Libor Secka, Ambassador of the Czech Republic to Malta who will be present in Malta for these events, will deliver a paper THE CZECH REPUBLIC PARTNER WITH MALTA IN THE EUROPEAN UNION - the way forward on Wednesday 22nd October at 17.00 hrs. at the Chamber of Commerce in Valletta.

A "Travel Trade" Business meeting will be organised by the Czech Tourism Authority on the 23rd October at 11.00 at St James, when Czech and Maltese Travel Agents will get together to explore ways and means of further strengthening co-operation between the two countries in the Travel business.

Here I wish to praise the great support obtained by The Czech Tourism Authority and Hamilton Travel Ltd who have sponsored the flights for our Artists.

Worth mentioning is the support obtained from the Malta Tourism Authority who are bringing over to Malta, six Travel Trade Journalists for the duration of the Czech Week, so that whilst reporting on the events of the week long activities, will be visiting various places on interest and when back in the Czech Republic they will publish what they have experienced and give that much needed promotion for Malta in their Country.

The highlight of the Czech Cultural Week, will be the visit to Malta of Dr Pavel Bem, Mayor of the City of Prague. Dr Bem will be having meetings with various VIP's during his stay here, visit the Capital Valletta and meet his counterpart Mayor, Dr Paul Borg Olivier. Gozo will also be given a taste of the Czech Republic, when a square in the village of Gharb, will be named "Prague Square". Dr Bem will be unveiling a monument purposely designed to commemorate this occassion on Saturday 25th October in the morning. Dr Bem will also be present for a reception being held at The Chamber of Commerce in Valletta, to celebrate the National Day of The Czech Republic.

Ladies and gentlemen, with the help obtained from the Embassy of the Czech Republic in Rome, we have been planning these events for months now and we will manage to offer to the Maltese public a very rich programme giving a taste of what the Maltese can expect when visiting the Czech Republic and its Capital City Prague, with it's unique architecture, history, charm and culture.

We now invite you, ladies and gentlemen of the media, to help us promote these events and invite the Maltese public to join in this unique Maltese - Czech celebration which, whilst enabling us to enjoy quality art and music and food, will celebrate the recent achievements of both countries following their mutual and historic decisions to join the European Union.

Thank You


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