Two exhibitions of photographs have been mounted in the connecting corridor and transit areas at Václav Havel Airport in the Czech Republic to honor former Czech President Václav Havel.
Since October 5, 2012, the airport has featured Havel’s name in its title. As part of the airport’s 85th-anniversary celebrations this year, Prague Airport, the operator of the international air hub, has prepared several activities to commemorate the life of Václav Havel. The airport has prepared the two exhibitions in partnership with the Václav Havel Library. The exhibition in the connecting corridor will last until the end of October 2022, while the photographs in the transit areas will remain on display until the end of 2022.
Near the Forum Havlum installation in the departure and arrival halls, passengers will find information tablets from which they can learn about the renaming of the airport, view photographs and comprehend the importance of the Forum Havlum art object and the Flying Man tapestry. They can also follow the life of the President on a timeline. The tapestry, based on an illustration by artist Peter Sís, will be complemented by a large-format information panel including a photograph of Havel. The panel will be hung next to the tapestry above the area leading to Terminal 2 Pier C and will reveal to passengers the photograph’s origin and meaning.
In December 2011, shortly after Havel’s death, Fero Fenič, a film director, screenwriter and producer, suggested renaming the international airport in Prague Ruzyně after the statesman, as is the custom at other world airports (JFK, Charles de Gaulle, M.R. Štefánik, etc). A petition was signed by over 80,000 people, and in May 2012, after consultations with language experts, the official name was published. It was decided that Václav Havel Airport Prague would be used primarily, with the Czech version being Letiště Václava Havla Praha. In December 2012, the Flying Man tapestry was unveiled. Its production was co-founded by musicians Bono and The Edge from U2, Yoko Ono Lennon, Peter Gabriel and Sting.
Jiří Pos, chairman of the board of directors of Prague Airport, said, “I am still thankful for the opportunity to have been a part of the airport renaming process 10 years ago and, together with my colleagues, to have been able to live up to the expectations of the act with dignity. I think that thanks to the new name, and especially to the personality of Mr Havel, we have become even more broadly acknowledged as a worthy and confident air hub in the heart of Europe.”
Jakub Puchalský, a member of the board of directors at Prague Airport, added, “The first [exhibition]will be installed in the public part of the Terminal 1 and 2 connecting corridor, while the second will be located across the airport, primarily airside. We have decided to install photographs in the Relax Zones of both terminal buildings.”