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Park in Czech Republic's second-largest city could be named after Romani musician

18.4.2017 9:42
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)

News server iDNES reports that Romani residents of Brno, Czech Republic are striving to have Hvězdička Park named after Romani musician Eugen Horváth. The request was filed by local assembly member Miroslav Zima, who is also the director of the DROM Romani Center in Brno.

A petition asking for the name change has been signed by 200 individuals together with the Department of the Cabinet of the Minister for Human Rights, Equal Opportunities and Legislation of the Government of the Czech Republic. "We contacted Romani Coordinators all over the country and learned that no bridges, squares or streets are named after anybody Romani. We very much welcome this proposal. This is a unique effort to draw attention to a significant Romani figure," Olga Jeřábková of the Office of the Government told news server iDNES.cz.

"In our view, he decidedly deserves this honor. He was our collaborator for many years, an excellent human being and musician. He was even supposed to be given our museum's 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 give it to him posthumously. He died suddenly on 10 October 2014 and we were all very surprised," recalls the director of the Museum of Romani Culture, Jana Horváthová.

This is not the first time that an attempt has been made by residents of Cejl Street to have a place named after Eugen Horváth. The first street they endeavored to name after him was Dačického, where he had lived, followed by a previous effort to name Hvězdička Park after him.

Neither of those attempts succeeded. This new request will be discussed at the next session of the Council of the Brno-střed Municipal Department and following that, by the Brno City Assembly.

"Last time they recommended we install a plaque. We're trying again, though. The rules for changing a name are rather strict, for example, 80 % of the residents of a street must agree to the change, but only our center is registered at the address of the park, so that shouldn't be a problem," Zima told news server iDNES.cz.

"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.

brf, iDNES.cz, translated by Gwendolyn Albert
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Eugen Horváth, DROM, Park Hvězdička, Romové



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