Faces of the Presidency

The Czech Republic launched its communication campaign regarding the Czech Presidency of the EU Council entitled ’Faces of the Czech Presidency’ in early September 2008. The objective of the first stage of the campaign was to use the element of surprise and, in an original and entertaining way, attract the attention of the Czech public whom it wanted to address in the first place. The sugar cube – a Czech invention from 1843, which is even commemorated by a monument in the
town of Dačice in Southern Bohemia – is the protagonist of the TV spot created for this campaign.

Video: TV spot

The spot features architect Eva Jiřičná, prima ballerina Darja Klimentová, scientist and drug developer Antonín Holý, conductor Libor Pešek, model Tereza Maxová, ice-hockey player Jaromír Jágr and football player Petr Čech. All of them took part in the campaign without asking for any reimbursement.

A number of prominent specialists helped conceive the campaign. Photographer Herbert Slavík, author of the idea for the Faces of the Czech Presidency, film director Alice Nellis and art director Eda Kauba were in the team of Deputy Prime Minister for European Affairs Alexandr Vondra, which prepared and shot the spot. The spot, like other parts of the presentation of the Czech EU Presidency, emphasises originality, wit and quality and disowns clichés and triteness.

So what do the faces of the Czech EU Presidency look like?

Petr Čech 
(born 1982 in Plzeň)

Petr ČechFootballer. On three occasions, he has been voted best goalkeeper in the Champions League. In a survey organised by the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA), he was first given this designation in 2005. In the same year, the International Federation of Football History & Statistics (IFFHS ) chose him as the world’s best goalkeeper.

At EURO 2004 in Portugal, he helped the Czech Republic place third. A year later, he won his first English Premier League title with Chelsea.

Čech has previously played for Viktoria Plzeň, Chmel Blšany, Sparta Prague and Rennes. He now plays between the posts for Chelsea and the Czech national team. In October 2006, he suffered a fractured skull in a collision with an opponent. Since then he has had to wear a helmet during matches.

Antonín Holý
(born 1936 in Prague)

Antonín HolýChemist. He has worked on exceptionally important projects. For instance, he was involved in the creation of a serum against hepatitis B, as well as in the creation of the most effective drug to date in the treatment of AIDS, which has significantly increased patients’ quality of life and given hope to millions of HIV-positive people around the world. Antonín Holý also works on the development of substances to treat leukaemia, cancer and viral diseases.

In 1995, he was appointed the director of the Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry at the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic. He remained in this position for eight years. He holds 60 patents and has co-authored 550 scientific papers. His publications have a citation count of more than 9,500, ranking him among the world’s top chemists. He has been awarded the European Union’s Descartes Prize for scientific research and has been admitted to the Learned Society of the Czech Republic.

Jaromír Jágr
(born 1972 in Kladno)

Jaromír JágrIce-hockey player. One of the world’s best players. Born and raised in Kladno, he made his way to the NHL in 1990, where he won numerous trophies. His teams succeeded in winning the Stanley Cup twice (in 1991 and 1992), Olympic gold (1998, Nagano) and the World Ice Hockey Championships (2005, Vienna). In 2006, he became the most successful European ever to play in the NHL when he scored his 1,400th point.

Jágr is also a five-time winner of the Art Ross Trophy, awarded to the player who scores the most points during the regular season; winner of the Hart Memorial Trophy for most valuable player of the season; three-time holder of the Lester B. Pearson Award for the league’s outstanding player; and winner of numerous other awards. He has played for the following NHL teams: the Pittsburgh Penguins, the Washington Capitals and the New York Rangers. He is now with Avantgard Omsk in Russia, having signed a two-season contract with the team in 2008.

Eva Jiřičná
(born 1939 in Zlín)

Eva JiřičnáArchitect. She has been one of only a few to gain recognition in this field on an international scale. She earned a degree in architecture from the Czech Technical University (ČVUT) and went on to study under Jaroslav Frágner at the Academy of Fine Arts (AVU). Since 1968, she has lived in London.  Jiřičná originally moved to London for a three-month internship. However, the Communist regime prevented her from returning home, and she set up her own studio (Eva Jiricna Architects) in the British capital. She now has another studio in Prague (AI Design Praha).

Jiřičná worked for the Louis de Soisson Studio, where she designed the port in Brighton. She then started working with the well-known architect Richard Rogers. Her interiors for London and New York fashion stores and boutiques made her famous. In addition, she designed the Orangery in the Royal Garden at Prague Castle, as well as the interiors of the Dancing House and the new headquarters of the British Council. She was also responsible for the renovation of St Anne’s Church in Prague’s Old Town. In 1996, she was made a professor, and she is in charge of the architectural studio at the Prague Academy of Arts, Architecture and Design (VŠUP).

Darja Klimentová
(born 1971 in Prague)

Darja KlimentováPrima ballerina. On graduating from the Prague Dance Conservatory, she was immediately hired by the National Theatre. She has won numerous international ballet competitions. She has performed with the Kruik Ballet in Cape Town, South Africa, and with the Scottish Ballet in Glasgow, and since 1996 she has danced with the English National Ballet, where she was appointed a first soloist in 1999.

She plays lead roles, particularly in the classic ballet repertoire (Swan Lake, La Sylphide, The Nutcracker, and Giselle). Her performances are praised for their technical precision, her mature grasp of the role, and her girlish grace. Besides dancing, she is also a successful photographer. In 2001, she was a finalist in a photography competition organized by Channel 4, and has exhibited her work at the Photographers’ Gallery in London. She has published a calendar of dance photographs and regularly takes pictures for the English National Ballet.

Tereza Maxová
(born 1971 in Pardubice)

Tereza MaxováModel. She has appeared on the cover of the British Vogue magazine and on the front pages of Elle, Cosmopolitan and Marie Claire. She has taken part in shows in Paris, Milan, and New York, and modelled for the designers of houses such as Chanel, Dior, Prada, Gucci, Yves Saint Laurent and Ralph Lauren. She has been the face of Hermés, La Perla, Vichy and L’Oreal.

Maxová has worked with perhaps all the top photographers, including Patrick Demarchelier, Mario Testino and Peter Lindbergh. In 1997, she set up the Tereza Maxová Foundation to support underprivileged children brought up in children’s homes and foster families. Since its formation, the foundation has distributed more than CZK 130 million for these children. Maxová divides her time between Prague and Monaco.

Libor Pešek
(born 1933 in Prague)

Libor PešekConductor. He is one of the top artists in his field in the Czech Republic and, indeed, the world. He has produced a series of exacting recordings for the world’s prominent recording companies and is particularly noted for his complete works of Antonín Dvořák and Josef Suk, among other things. He has repeatedly been a guest conductor of the world’s leading orchestras, and has figured at the prestigious BBC Proms festival at the Royal Albert Hall in London on several occasions.

In 1996, during her visit to the Czech Republic, Queen Elizabeth II appointed him The Knight Commander of the British Empire (KBE) at Prague Castle. A year later, he was conferred the Medal for Merit of the First Order. In the Czech Republic, he works most often with the Prague Symphony Orchestra, the Czech National Symphony Orchestra, and the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra. In 1987, he was appointed the music director and principal conductor of the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra.

Last update: 16.8.2011 15:59

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