Obelisk with Havel’s Palmprint Installed at Czech Permanent Office in Brussels
The first post-communist president of Czechoslovakia and later the Czech Republic, Havel died in 2011. Photo credit: Martin Kozák, via Wikimedia Commons.
Brussels, Oct 24 (CTK correspondent) – A Vaclav Havel “Truth and Love” Obelisk, with an imprint of the former Czech president’s palm, was unveiled at the building of the Czech Republic’s permanent representation to the EU yesterday.
The two-metre artefact, created by North Bohemian sculptor Karel Meloun, was previously on display in Chomutov, North Bohemia, where it first appeared over 30 years ago.
It will be installed in Brussels at least until the end of the Czech EU presidency.
“This is really an authentic hand. You can see that a great mind may have a small hand sometimes. A writer does not have to have hands like shovels,” joked Czech MEP Alexandr Vondra at the opening ceremony.
Vondra, a former Czech foreign minister, said the idea was a tribute both to Havel and Meloun, who died four months ago. Vondra was a friend of both men, and helped organise the transport of the artwork to Brussels.
The story of the obelisk started in February 1990, when Meloun created the imprint of Havel’s palm during his visit to Chomutov.
Several years later, it was set in the metal column and the obelisk was put on display in Chomutov on the 30th anniversary of the overthrow of the Communist regime.
A Czech presidency official, Denisa Sediva, told CTK that Meloun wished his work of art to be installed in Brussels.
It will be in the lobby of the building until the beginning of next year. It is not clear where it will be moved afterwards.
Sediva said she could imagine its installation in the European Parliament buildings.