Prague square to be named for Miloš Forman

A plaza on Pařížská street will honor the late film director

Film director Miloš Forman will be honored with a square near the end of Pařížská Street in Prague 1.

Prague City Hall is renaming the plaza in front of the Intercontinental Hotel to náměstí Miloše Formana (see map below). The move has been approved by the Prague City Council. The square would be bordered by Pařížská, Bílkova and Elišky Krásnohorské streets and náměstí Curieových. The area currently does not have a distinct name.

“A year ago, we awarded Mr. Forman an honorable citizenship [of Prague], but unfortunately he could come to accept it, so I'm glad we can give him this tribute, a place where his name will have a significant space in the city center,” Prague Mayor Adriana Krnáčová (ANO) said.

Honorary citizenships of Prague have been given out since 1920 and among other things allow for free public transportation and access to cultural events. Since 1989 it has been given to more than 40 people.

Forman died April 13 at the age of 86 in Danbury, Connecticut. He was born in Čáslav, Czechoslovakia, in 1932 and made several films in Czechoslovakia as part of the Czech New Wave movement, the most important of which were Loves of a Blonde and The Firemen's Ball.

He relocated to the US after the 1968 Soviet-led invasion and made films such as the Oscar-winning One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest in 1975. This was followed by the rock musical Hair in 1979 and the sprawling epic Ragtime in 1981.

Forman briefly returned to Prague to film the Oscar-winning Amadeus, released in 1984, and sporadically visited after 1989 to teach and to receive several awards. His final completed film was Goya's Ghosts in 2006, shot in Spain.

Forman was married three times. His first wife was actress Jana Brejchová. With his second wife, actress Věra Křesadlová, he had two sons, Petr and Matěj, who are active in puppetry and other aspects of entertainment. He married his third wife in 1999, writer Martina Zbořilová, with whom he has twins Andy and Jim.

The square and the honorary citizenship are not his first honors. In 1995 he earned the President's Medal for Merit in the First Degree, while Václav Havel was in office. In 1997 we got the Crystal Globe for Outstanding Artistic Contribution to World Cinema at the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival. He also took home an Honorary Award for Unique Contribution to Czech Film from the Czech Lions in 1998. In 2007 he got the Gratias Agit prize from the Czech Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Before he left Czechoslovakia, his film Loves of a Blonde (1965) won the State Prize of Klement Gottwald.

These are in addition to his two Oscars for One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (1975) and Amadeus (1984), and three Golden Globes for those films plus The People vs. Larry Flynt (1996). His first English-language film Taking Off (1971) won a grand jury prize at Cannes. He has also won prizes at film festivals in Berlin, Locarno, Munich, Palm Springs, Tokyo, Lyon and Zurich, among other places. Other prizes he has earned include BAFTA, César and David di Donatello awards.

The city does not often honor famous people with streets or squares, as this causes trouble for mapmakers and also for people who live on the streets, as they will have to have all of their official documents updated with the new address.

The most recent renaming of a part of the center of Prague was náměstí Václava Havla for the plaza between the historical building of the National Theatre and the glass Nová scéna. It was renamed in September 2016 on what would have been a former president and author Václav Havel's 80th birthday.

The street in front of the US ambassador's residence in Prague 6 was renamed for Ronald Reagan in 2011.

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