Final Word from Monday, November 18, 2002





Václav Havel is famous for putting a little heart under his signature, and last night Prague Castle got its own big red neon heart sitting high in the sky. Havel lit it up in a ceremony for the cameras and said the piece of art will serve as a reminder of the ideals of the Velvet Revolution. The heart will no doubt attract a lot of publicity during the Nato summit, but some Czechs will complain that it's kitschy and meant mainly to draw attention to Havel himself. (Václav Klaus said recently that all Havel has ever cared about as president is himself.) Others will wonder what kind of strings had to be pulled to get a permit, because putting up anything in Prague is so hard. But others will argue that Havel is still the best product the CR has to sell. If he doesn't mind being its mascot and being paraded around for the cameras, let him keep doing it.

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