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Kaplický turns down award over library dispute

21. 10. 2008
Czech-born architect says Czech ministry is hampering his winning project

Prague - Czech-born architect Jan Kaplický said yesterday he would not accept a state award for which he had been selected by the Culture Ministry.

"You must understand my position. The ministry is trying to scrap my library project," Kaplický told Aktuálně.cz, referring to his winning design for a new National Library in Prague.

The project is now suspended after Culture Minister Václav Jehlička said in the summer the government did not have enough money to build the library according to Kaplický's "blob" design.

The ministry is also investigating legal complaints against the contest in which Kaplický's design was selected and allegations that the National Library misused public funds.

Kaplický was supposed to receive the prize along with other artists awarded for extraordinary contributions to Czech art on Tuesday 28 October during a special ceremony at the Czech Museum of Music in Prague. Each winner will be awarded CZK 300,000.

"I want to wait for the time when I really achieve something for Czech architecture and culture. I haven't been very successful in the past 18 months," the architect said later to the ČTK agency.

autor: CzechNews | 21. 10. 2008

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