Babiš discussed the plan recently in France and promised his support
Fashion brand Louis Vuitton is again trying to rent Prague’s historical Charles Bridge for a fashion show.
The brand tried to do this a decade ago, but the plan fell through due to objections over having the bridge closed to the public.
This time, though, Finance Minister Andrej Babiš (ANO) is supporting the idea, news server iDnes.cz reported.
Bernard Arnault, head of LVMH group, reportedly met with Babiš during the minister’s trip to France last week.
“Mr. Bernard Arnault has a great project. He would like in Prague to do a fashion show on the CharlesBridge. This should certainly have a great worldwide response, so I want to help him get permission. I think it would be great in the framework of celebrations to mark 700 years since the birth of [Emperor] Charles IV,” Babiš said.
Babiš has close relationship with Prague Mayor Adriana Krnáčová (ANO), as both are members of the same party.
CharlesBridge, built between 1357 and 1402, was one of Charles IV’s main building projects during his reign. It was named after him much later, though, and was simply called the StoneBridge before that.
A yearlong series of events and exhibitions are now under way to mark the 700th anniversary of his birth.
Louis Vuitton in 2006 had planned to have a similar event, and pop star Madonna was supposed to attend as it coincided with her concert in Prague at what was then Sazka Arena, during her Confessions tour.
The bridge was to have only had a narrow passage for the public during preparations and then would have been completely closed for the day of the event.
Public reaction was swift and negative once it was announced, and the event eventually took place in Alšovo náměstí instead, without Madonna participating.
Mayor Krnáčová told iDnes.cz that negotiations over the current plan have not yet started, but there is standard procedure in place to deal with requests to use public monuments.
Reaction over social media so far has not been as negative as the last time. The majority of comments on the Facebook page of Praha.eu, a site associated with City Hall, said that if the company pays a big enough rental fee and the event was done under the eye of monument conservationists, there shouldn’t be a problem.
The bridge has in the past been rented for films and music videos, for example. Some people commenting on Facebook said that if filmmakers can rent it, the same rules should apply to other companies.
One negative comment said that closing the bridge would disappoint tourists, and another opposed the idea simply because Babiš was in favor of it.