Art gallery become a real Airbnb flat

You can live in Galerie NoD for a few days if you rent online

The grounds of Galerie NoD will be transformed to a fully fledged private flat available for rental by members of the general public for two or more nights through online rental service Airbnb. Tourists and residents are both welcome to rent the space from March 5 to April 14.

Galerie NoD is part of the Roxy complex on Prague’s Dlouhá Street in Old Town, in the center of tourist activity.

The art collective Rafani is working with the gallery on the project called Rafani Art Apartment in the Heart of the City. It is aimed at contributing to the public debate about the impact of short-term rentals on the character of residential neighborhoods and on the availability of housing to long-time city dwellers.

The project will create a platform for discussing problems of the sharing economy, “platform capitalism,” and gentrification of urban areas, with the participation of artists and representatives from the fields of economy, architecture and urban planning, local government, and mediation web platforms.

The prevalence of short-term rental flats in Prague has become both a political and a social issue. The national and city governments both are concerned over unpaid taxes and fees, while residents are concerned over noise and security, among other issues.

The Rafani collective describes the flat in NoD as a unique living space, with culture and entertainment at a stone’s throw from home.

“The flat has a separate bedroom with a twin bed, bedside tables, a wardrobe and a toilet table. The living room is furnished with a sofa and two armchairs offering an ideal angle for watching TV. The dining room is fully furnished to accommodate four guests.

Toilet, bathroom and kitchenette are accessible from the communal space. The flat is situated on the same floor with a coffee bar and a small theater hall,” the Airbnb description states.

“The flat is centrally located in a neighborhood which has everything you need to get to know Prague, in the proximity of Wenceslas Square, the National Museum, the Vltava river and the main railway station, all of this within a walking distance of just a couple of minutes. Churches and synagogues are just around the corner, as is a Hare Krishna restaurant. Cultural attractions (concerts, parties, theatre, art) wait for you within easy reach in all directions. The block containing your flat houses one of the finest restaurants in town serving local food and tank-stored draft Pilsner beer. To savor all of Prague´s delights here, you may well stay within a mere kilometer-wide perimeter. The block’s ground floor is the home of one of Prague’s hippest music clubs,” the description continuities.

It end with one caveat: “Warning: According to a Harvard University research study, the Czechs rank at the top of the EU racial prejudice scale.”

Galerie NoD’s art director and the exhibition curator Pavel Kubesa said that over the past year he has increasingly oriented Galerie NoD’s program focus toward addressing current social and environmental issues.

“We therefore conceive individual exhibitions as platforms opening up opportunities for broader public debate, and as a vehicle of raising awareness of the various problems concerned,” he said.

“As an exhibition institution, we strive to create an intellectual environment and base for social criticism and dialogue. Indeed, in the process we have been able to draw on our own personal experience as well as our continual observation of changes taking place in the center of this city and, to be sure, in the immediate neighborhood of NoD Experimental Space,” he added.

“Hence also our forthcoming attitude to this initiative of the Rafani collective, entailing our full support for their project of transforming the gallery to a short-term rental flat. We are eagerly awaiting the response it will engender among the general public and the flat’s tenants, but also on the part of Airbnb Czech Republic,” he said.

The Czech art group Rafani was founded in 2000 along democratic principles, according to their press release. The group’s work is centered around collective approach and engagement, with focus on general current affairs. Rafani is concerned with public space art, structural concept of exhibitions, as well as with metaphoric possibilities of art.

For more information visit www.facebook.com/events

The flat can be hired on the web through the Airbnb site: http://bit.ly/RafaniArtApartment

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