The square in front of the Intercontinental Hotel in Prague 1 has now been named the Miloš Forman Square. The Oscar-winning director, Miloš Forman, died on April 13th this year at the age of 86. The director’s family responded positively to the naming of the site.
Following his death, it was decided that a place in the city center was to be named after the director. “It was one of the only significant places with no official name yet (…) Every vacant lot had to be approached individually, and it seemed to us that this would be a good place to name after him.” Adriana Krnáčová said. According to the Mayor, the city is developing a proposal to cultivate space to remember remarkable creatives, such as Forman. On the square, there will also be a sculpture erected as a tribute to Forman’s work.
Renaming the square is also a preventative measure to halt any possibility of office blocks being built on the plot of land. "I have proposed this systemic measure to show exactly what my attitude is towards what should happen with this square," Krnáčová said.
Last year, it was discovered that the company J & T wanted to build an office block right on that spot. But according to the draft metropolitan plan, which is being prepared by the capital, it is possible to prevent any future builds on this particular site in front of the hotel.
The renaming of the square was decided in May, but the ceremonial revelation took place five months later. "I did not want this to be part of the election struggle. Out of respect, we wanted to do it after the election and regardless of the winner. Forman’s name does not deserve to be trapped in the political media, "said Krnáčová.
At the end of August, the idea of renaming the Exhibition Grounds in Prague 7 to Park Miloš Forman was proposed by entrepreneur and ODA chairman Pavel Sehnal, to which Forman’s family had at first agreed. However, after Sehnal used Forman's name in his election campaign, the family pulled out of the agreement. Brothers Petr and Matěj Forman demanded that the name and photographs of the Oscar-winning director be removed from the Sehnal campaign and demanded 600,000 crowns as retribution for the abuse of their family name.
The greatest glory of Forman’s career came after his departure to America in the late 1960s. In the USA, he received his first Oscar for ‘One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest’ in 1975. Other films, such as the musical ‘Hair’ (1979) and ‘Ragtime’ (1981), had more success in Europe than in America, but ‘Amadeus’ (1984) went on to win eight Oscars. After ‘the People vs. Larry Flynt’ (1996) and ‘Man on the Moon’ (1999), the last film Miloš Forman worked on was ‘Goya's Ghosts’ in Spain in 2006.
Author: Holly Webb