The Czech and Slovak presidents, Miloš Zeman and Zuzana Čaputová, ceremonially opened the Czech House in Bratislava, with Zeman saying he wishes for the cultural center to be a place of meetings and friendship.
The Czech House is located in Prepoštská Street in the historical center of Bratislava. During the ceremonial opening of the Czech House, Zeman and Čaputová cut the tape symbolically held by the ambassador of the Czech Republic to Slovakia, Tomáš Tuhý, and his Slovak counterpart, Peter Weiss.
Speaking at the opening of the Czech House, President Zeman said that this was a long-term dream of his.
“One of my dreams was to open the Czech House in Bratislava. It took five years and many excuses, but in the end, we found friendly souls that helped us,” said Zeman.
Slovak President Zuzana Čaputová also used the opening ceremony to mention the anniversary of the Velvet Revolution, saying that Nov. 17 and all the changes that it brought were a victory for the citizens of the then Czechoslovakia.
“It was an example of how solidarity and cooperation can lead to an amazing and great change. Even though our nations split up and created two separate state units, I think we remained the closest partners and friends. I believe that the Czech House in Bratislava will contribute to this relationship,” added Čaputová.
The Slovak Republic provided financial support to the Czech House in the form of a grant of €376,000 (9.6 million korunas). It was seen as a reciprocal donation considering the Czech Republic supported the establishment of the Slovak House in Prague as well.
At the opening of the Czech House, the Czech president had the opportunity to enjoy Czech beer. However, the Czech House will not only serve as the Czech Center agency, but also CzechTrade, CzechTourism, and CzechInvest agencies.
According to Ambassador Tomáš Tuhý, the joint seat of these institutions will streamline the share of information on activities taking place in Slovakia that will benefit Czech companies and organizations.