A giant pink neon heart now adorns the European Parliament building in Brussels in memory of the late dissident playwright and Czech president Vaclav Havel, who died last year.
Vaclav Havel’s Czech fans are encouraging people to roll up their trouser legs in a comic gesture to honor Havel.
As Czech president, Vaclav Havel wore trousers which were “noticeably short”, the trouser campaign website says.
Vaclav Havel was widely admired for his long struggle against communist repression.
The trouser gesture is “humorous, non-violent but significant and perhaps even very Czech-like”, the campaign group says.
A giant pink neon heart now adorns the European Parliament building in Brussels in memory of the late dissident playwright and Czech president Vaclav Havel
The neon heart in Brussels, measuring 15 m by 17 m (50 ft x 56 ft), adorned the facade of Prague Castle before the end of Havel´s second presidential term in December 2002.
Its creator, Jiri David, was inspired by a small, hand-written heart which Vaclav Havel used to place after his signature, a statement from MEPs in the European Conservatives and Reformists (ECR) Group says.
It is described as a symbol of Vaclav Havel’s commitment to human rights, peace and democracy.
Vaclav Havel died at the age of 75, having guided Czechs and Slovaks through the turbulent 1989 Velvet Revolution and democratic transformation. He was elected Czechoslovak president in December 1989, then led the Czech Republic after the split with Slovakia.
Supporters of the late Ahmed Shah Masood, a resistance fighter who led opposition to the Afghan Taliban, plan to transport the neon heart to Kabul next September to honor Masood, who was assassinated on 9 September 2001. Al-Qaeda and the Taliban were blamed for the bomb blast which killed him.
Prague’s international airport has been renamed after former Czech President Vaclav Havel, who died last year.
The ribbon-cutting ceremony attended by dignitaries and family took place on what would have been his 76th birthday.
More than 80,000 people signed a petition calling for the name change to honor the dissident playwright.
Foreign Minister Karel Schwarzenberg said he hoped every Czech air passenger leaving Prague would think of the man to whom they owed their freedom.
“This is the right place [to bear Vaclav Havel’s name] – it was he who enabled the Czech nation to travel out of this country,” he added.
Vaclav Havel led the peaceful 1989 overthrow of communism in then Soviet-backed Czechoslovakia.
“November 1989 was possible only because of Vaclav Havel,” said Karel Schwarzenberg.
A line of dignitaries including the former president’s widow Dagmar Havlova cut the small strip of airport tape to mark the renaming.
Dagmar Havlova said: “To me, today’s ceremony is proof of recognition of President Vaclav Havel, a recognition of freedom and democracy in our country, a recognition of his acts for this country. Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the Vaclav Havel Airport Prague.”
The airport – one of the busiest transport hubs in central Europe – was formerly known as Ruzyne airport.
Vaclav Havel became president of Czechoslovakia in 1989 after the fall of communism. When Slovakia split in 1993, he remained Czech leader until 2003.
Vaclav Havel died last December after having suffered from respiratory problems for many years.