Friday , August 6 2021

The Czech Republic's premier proposes restoration of the author's nationality – art and culture

Czech Republic's prime minister Andrej Babis said that he had proposed to restore the custodian of Milan Cundera's Czech nationality, removed from him by the former Communist regime of the country almost four decades ago.

Customers, whose novel "The Unbearable Lightness of Being" was transformed into a 1987 film with Daniel Day-Lewis, became a naturalized French citizen after he was emigrated when prevented from publishing in his native country.

"He deserves to get his citizenship again," Babis told the Czech CTK Office in Paris where he participated in a 1918 Army cessation to end WWI.

Customers, now 89, and his wife Vera, abolished their nationality in 1979 by the communist regime from the Soviet era Czechoslovakia. They emigrated to France in 1975.

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The author's "The Book of Laughter and Forgetting", published in 1979, examined how the citizens lived under the regime.

His own life had been under the supervision of StB's secret police. His first novel "The Joke" – his take on a single state – led to a ban on his publication at home.

Customers, born in 1929 in Brno, maintained a complicated relationship with their homeland even after the Velvet Revolution in 1989 completed a party rule in Prague.

According to Babis, the author refused to perform public appearances in the Czech Republic even after returning several times after Communism's fall in 1989. He said that Cundera had visited 22 years ago.

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