Prague: “I would be happy if Pope John Paul II and the Tibetan Dalai Lama, visited our country even if only for a single day,” said Czechoslovak President Vaclav Havel in his first New Year’s speech on January 1, 1990. A month after President Havel’s personal invitation, in February 1990, His Holiness actually arrived for a several-day visit to what was then Czechoslovakia (now the Czech Republic).
Inspired by this landmark meeting of the two great leaders and the enduring support for His Holiness over the years, the Tibet Open House, a Tibetan Buddhist centre based in Prague, is launching a photo exhibition titled ‘If only for a single day’ on 9 July 2020, 6 pm (Central European Summer Time).
In a press release issued last week, the Tibet Open House said the exhibition is also an expression of support for His Holiness the Dalai Lama on his 85th birthday.
“The Dalai Lama’s visit helped Czech society to raise the issue of respect for the human right to liberty and opened up space for free expression. The visit of the Dalai Lama with his supporters took place in various parts of Prague and the exhibition of Stanislav Doležal´s photographs, including texts by the then Havel secretary and the writer Saša Neuman, captures the spontaneous atmosphere of these moments and is a unique testimony to the intense experience of our modern history,” it said.
“I understand that in cooperation with Tibet Open House of Prague, some of our friends are commemorating the occasion of my first visit through an exhibition, which includes photographs taken by Standa Dolezal and a documentary film,” His Holiness said, adding that he was “overwhelmed by the very warm and spontaneous affection shown by so many people” during his first visit over 30 years ago.