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"Prague Day" Kicks off at Shanghai Expo

2010. 6 September

A Czech painter paints for visitors on Prague Pavilion Day on Monday, September 06, 2010. [Photo: Zhi]

by Zheng Zhi

( Prague Day is being celebrated Monday at the Shanghai World Expo 2010 in the Urban Best Practices Area of the Expo Site.

The Prague pavilion is striving to highlight the city's position as a center of European culture and history, with various cultural performances and events, including a fashion show and concerts by prominent Czech performing artists.

"We are so proud that our city has been selected from more than 160 cities worldwide to be featured in the Urban Best Practices Area," said Michaela Sevcikova, head of the International Department of Prague City Hall, at a ceremony marking this special day.

The area showcases original and valuable technologies and initiatives designed to improve the quality of daily urban life in cities around the world. It is also a platform for chosen cities to exchange experiences in urban planning and development.

According to Sevcikova, more than two million people have visited the Prague Pavilion so far, a number exceeding the city's own population. Sevcikova says she hopes that more people will visit the city.

Showcased in the pavilion are Czech-developed innovative flood prevention methods, including mobile anti-flood barriers, implemented after the 2002 flood that devastated the city in 2002. The barriers now cover approximately 95 percent of the city.

As many parts of China are also plagued by floods, Helena Zavazalova, project manager of the Prague pavilion told CRI that Prague is now cooperating with several Chinese cities on flood control development.

"Our system can be used anywhere in the world. We are already in touch with several Chinese provincial representatives. We will share our experience with them, which will no doubt be mutually beneficial," Zavazalova said.

Meshulam Zisso is an Israeli freelance photographer who has spent ten years working and living in Prague. He came to the Prague pavilion to take some photos.

"It's really impressive," he said. "The Prague Pavilion has succeeded in conveying the charm of the city. The anti-flood barrier displayed in this pavilion looks just like the real one back in Prague. I feel at home," Zisso told CRI.

The Prague pavilion's Expo motto is "a modern city protecting its cultural heritage." Prague is represented as a modern city protecting both its unique heritage as well as the daily lives of its citizens.