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Czech Republic: Motion to name park after Romani musician passes the first bureaucratic hurdle

15.5.2017 6:38
Eugen (Janko) Horváth, Brno, Czech Republic, 2013. (PHOTO: L. Grossmannová, from the archive of the Museum of Romani Culture)
Eugen (Janko) Horváth, Brno, Czech Republic, 2013. (PHOTO: L. Grossmannová, from the archive of the Museum of Romani Culture)

The assembly of the Brno-střed Municipal Department has agreed to rename the Hvězdička Park on Cejl street after the educator and musician Eugen Horváth. Now the local assembly for the City of Brno must vote on the proposal.

If the renaming succeeds, Brno would become the first city in the Czech Republic to honor a member of the Romani community in this way. The application to name the street after this significant Romani figure was filed by Miroslav Zima, the director of Brno's DROM Romany Centre.

Zima delivered the leadership of the municipality a petition supporting the effort signed by 200 people. The petition is also supported by the Czech Minister for Human Rights, Equal Opportunities and Legislation and his department at the Office of the Government.

"We are naturally very glad the local assembly members agreed to rename the park. We believe it will actually go through now. We did not believe it would be easy, but we met all the requirements and now we must wait for the City of Brno's assembly members to decide," Zima told news server Romea.cz.

Zima said the park is not the first place that he and those he works with wanted to name after the musician. "We attempted this in the Brno-sever municipality and asked them to rename Dačického Street because Horváth had lived there, but that was not approved. Last year our request to rename Hvězdička Park didn't pass either, but we attempted it once again," Zima said.

The final decision to change the name must now be made by local assembly members for the City of Brno. "The rules for changing a name are rather strict and require 80 % of the residents of the street to agree with the change, for example. However, our center is the only building at that address, so it should not be a problem for that condition to be fulfilled," Zima said.

"Generally we can say that the request meets the requirements according to the Principles for Creating Street Names and Signs for Building Numbers, Public Spaces and Street Signs in the City of Brno. This is the name of a park, so its eventual renaming would not represent an administrative burden to local residents," Kateřina Dobešová, the spokesperson for the Brno-střed Municipal Department, told news server iDNES.cz last month.

"In our view, he decidedly deserves this honor. He worked together with us for many years, he was both an excellent human being and and excellent musician. He was even supposed to be given our museum's own award in 2014 for his lifelong dedication to Romani culture, his cultivation of the Romani musical tradition, and his cultivation of Romani representation, but unfortunately we were only able to honor him posthumously. He died suddenly on 10 October 2014 and we were all very surprised," the director of the Brno-based Museum of Romani Culture, Jana Horváthová, told news server Romea.cz last month.

voj, translated by Gwendolyn Albert
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Brno, DROM, Eugen Horváth, Park Hvězdička



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