The first public monument honoring the German-language poet Rainer Maria Rilke, born in Prague Dec. 4, 1875, was unveiled at 16 Na Přikopě St. Dec. 7.
The sculpture, by Vlasta Prachatická, is mounted onto the facade of a former German school Rilke attended as a child. At the ceremony, Director of the Prague House of German literature Lucia Černohorska compared Rilke’s literary legacy to another German-language writer from Prague, Franz Kafka, but lamented that “to this day, this important poet had no bust or statue in his Prague, so we decided to take this task on our shoulders.”
Rilke is widely considered one of the greatest poets of the 20th century. In poetry collections such as The Duino Elegies, New Poems and the novel The Notebooks of Malte Laurids Brigge, Rilke opened new paradigms in the German language and new possibilities for poetic expression. He had a significant impact on Czech writers including Vladimír Holan.