Prague to Have “Velvet Bridge” Next Spring

Lidia T.

The wall on Kampa, by the Vltava River, has been redesigned by the internationally renowned artist and illustrator Petr Sís, whose works adorn public space in New York, Lisbon, Cape Town or at Václav Havel Airport in Prague.

The “Velvet Bridge” commemorates the anniversary of the Velvet Revolution and visually discusses the history of Czechoslovakia between 1918 and 1989. The work will be completed next spring.

The most recent artistic achievement of Sís is this replica of the Charles Bridge. The author will place 12 paintings in the arches of the bridge, which symbolically describe the history of Czechoslovakia between 1918 and 1989.

On the Kampa wall, two paintings in a cartoon design by Petr Sis have been introduced, one representing Tomáš Garrigue Masaryk and the other representing Václav Havel. The finished work will be installed next spring after the necessary reconstruction of the wall.

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Visualization: Petr Sis

The work was initiated by a philanthropist of Irish origin, Bill Shipsey, founder of the Art for Amnesty initiative. Shipsey is engaging prominent artists around the world in promoting issues related to human rights and the development of democracy.

He has collaborated on projects around the world with personalities such as Nelson Mandela, Joan Baez, Bono Vox, Peter Gabriel, U2, Sting, Yoko Ono, Paul Simon and John Legend.

As an admirer of the first President of the Czech Republic, Shipsey also advocates the installation of the so-called Václav Havel benches around the world.

“On the occasion of the 30th anniversary of this international event, we are honoured to provide Prague with this artistic gift for all the brave women and men who made the revolution happen. We hope that the Velvet Bridge will remind both locals and visitors that freedom and human rights are not a matter of course and must be protected every day,” said Bill Shipsey.

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Petr Sís, who alternately lives in New York and Prague, in Nerudova Street in Malá Strana, is delighted to realize the project. “I’m glad this wall is turning into a bridge. I am still finishing some elements of the work, and because I like to come back here, I care about every detail,” he said.

The capital receives the work as a donation from partners, three-quarters of the costs of realization are covered by contributions of private persons.

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