The following statement was read last night at the National Theatre in Prague by its director Ondrej Cerny, before the curtain went up on Dvorak’s Rusalka:
Václav Havel has died. The greatest spiritual authority of our young democracy has left us for ever. An extraordinary human, a true citizen, a great politician, a splendid playwright. Undoubtedly the greatest figure this country has had since the time of Tomáš Garrigue Masaryk. One it has given to the world. His bust, unveiled at the National Theatre on this anniversary of the Velvet Revolution, on 17 November, will for ever remind us of his unpretentious yet magnificent legacy. And serve as a constant source of inspiration in our lives. Now it is up to us.