where the writers are
Vaclav Havel Receives Cultural Award
The Elephant is a citizen of the jungle.

    Havel receives Trutnov's honorary citizenship, culture awardČTK |


Trutnov, East Bohemia, Nov 5 (CTK) - Former Czech president Vaclav Havel Friday received the honorary citizenship and culture award of the town of Trutnov for his extraordinary contribution to Czech and world culture and promotion of Trutnov.

Havel, 74, playwright and anti-communist dissident, has been the tenth laureate of the Trutnov honorary citizenship. One of them was Czechoslovak president Edvard Benes (in office 1935-48), for instance.

Havel has been connected with Trutnov since the mid-1960s when he bought a weekend cottage in the nearby village of Hradecek, Trutnov Mayor Ivan Adamec recalled.

In 1974 to 1975 Havel was employed as a manual worker in the Trutnov brewery. This job inspired his one-act play Audience (1975).

In 1997 Havel was one of the initiators and signatories of the Charter 77 human rights manifesto.

After the collapse of the communist regime in November 1989, Havel was elected Czechoslovak president in December 1989 (in office until mid-1992) and then he was Czech president (1993-2003).

Havel kept visiting Trutnov and stayed often in his cottage after he became head of state.

In 1999, then U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan visited Havel in Hradecek (little castle in Czech) to discuss the situation in Kosovo.

Havel is also a regular guest to the Open Air rock music festival in Trutnov.

The festival organisers prepared an informal meeting with Havel along with a concert of several music bands tonight.

Since he left the presidential post in 2003, Havel has primarily focused on human rights observance in the world.

He returned to theatre with his latest drama The Leaving premiered in May 2008. This year he shot its film adaptation, his debut as a film director.