Alexandr Vondra will launch the Czech EU Presidency on New Year’s Eve

  • Date: 31.12.2008 — 1.1.2009
  • Venue: Prague - Czech Republic
  • Theme: Others

The Deputy Prime Minister for European Affairs will be the guest of the TV programme ‘New Year’s Eve’s with an Angel’ on ČT2. He will launch the Czech EU Presidency by lighting the pendulum ‘Time Machine’ by remote control.

The pendulum ‘Time Machine’ will be lit throughout the Czech EU Presidency, i.e. until 30 June 2009.

Turning on the festive lighting of the pendulum at midnight of 31 December 2008 and 1 January 2009 will entail:

  • lighting the symbol of the EU and the logo of the Czech EU Presidency with sodium lamps
  • lighting the pyramid of the motor room
  • lighting the red hand of the pendulum
  • lighting the LED tricolour on the pendulum
  • turning on the electronic striking of the clock.

The pyramid of the motor room will be lit in blue and carry the EU symbol, the red swinging pendulum will be highlighted on the sides with white and blue LED bars. The visualisation will include the logo of the Czech EU Presidency. Together all of these elements will form a symbol of the Czech Republic and its EU Presidency.

This kinetic artwork entitled ‘Time Machine’ was built as a temporary construction in 1991 to commemorate the General Czechoslovak Exhibition in Prague according to a proposal by Professor V. K. Novák. It is a unique piece of art, fittingly integrated onto a massive pedestal of a former memorial in the axis of perspective of Pařížská Street. It is visible all the way from the Old Town Square to the Vltava riverbank. The festive lighting of the pendulum will contribute to the presentation of the Czech Presidency of the EU Council in a unique way.

  • Media Opportunity: 31 December 2008, 23:59 – 00:01, 1 January 2009: possibility to photograph the ceremonial commencement of the Czech EU Presidency from Čechův Most (bridge)

The official launch of the Czech EU Presidency at political level will take place on 7 January 2009. Members of the European Commission will come to Prague to meet with the Czech Government. There will be a celebration in the National Theatre at 20:00. The symbolic Presidency baton will be passed to the Czech Republic in the presence of the President of the European Commission, José Manuel Durão Barroso, the Prime Minister of the Czech Republic, Mirek Topolánek, the Deputy Prime Minister for European Affairs, Alexandr Vondra, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic, Karel Schwarzenberg, the French Minister of Foreign Affairs, Bernard Kouchner, and the French Secretary of State in charge of European Affairs, Bruno Le Maire.

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