Václav Havel’s Place
Václav Havel Place is a memorial commemorating the life and legacy of playwright, philosopher, dissident, and Czech president Václav Havel (1936-2011). The installation of Havel Places is a worldwide project to create a network of public spaces where people can hold frank exchanges of important ideas, an expression of Havel’s belief in the power of mutual dialogue.
The memorial at Lewis & Clark is only the second in the United States. The first is located at Georgetown University. Its installation here is made possible through a collaboration between Lewis & Clark, the Embassy of the Czech Republic in Washington, D.C., and the Václav Havel Library.
Václav Havel’s Place comprises two chairs linked by a round table with a linden tree, the national tree of the Czech Republic, growing through the center of the table. The seating area, named the Democratic Bench, was designed by Bořek Šípek, a celebrated Czech artist and architect who was a close friend of Havel’s. The memorial at Lewis & Clark has been donated by the Embassy of the Czech Republic.
Lewis & Clark is honored to welcome two dignitaries from the Czech Republic as participants in this dedication: Karl Schwarzenberg, chair of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Parliament of the Czech Republic and a former minister of foreign affairs of the Czech Republic, and Petr Gandalovič, ambassador of the Czech Republic to the United States and an initiator, along with Šípek, of the Havel Places project.
The dedication will take place on May 9 at 6:30 p.m. in the courtyard adjacent to Fir Acres Theatre. It will be followed by a performance of select scenes and excerpts from Havel’s works by Lewis & Clark theatre students, a panel discussion about Havel’s legacy led by Schwarzenberg and members of the theatre department, and a reception.
For more information on the Havel’s Places project, visit the Vaclav Havel Library website.