Videomapping at the National Museum.via Raymond Johnston

Instead of fireworks, Prague will celebrate New Year’s Day with videomapping at the National Museum

City Hall has canceled the traditional fireworks show due to complaints about noise

The videomapping for New Year’s Day will be at the historical building of the National Museum. Prague City Hall previously announced that it would stage a videomapping instead of the traditional fireworks, but did not specify the location.

The cost of the videomapping, which will take place three times on January 1, 2020, will be comparable to previous fireworks displays. “We will screen a pictorial story accompanied by music from 6 pm, 7 pm and 8 pm. The theme will be Prague as a modern, life-friendly city,” City Councilor Hana Třeštíková (Praha sobě) said, according to Czech Television.

The fireworks show on Jan. 1, 2019, show cost 1.7 million CZK and lasted 11 minutes.

national museum
Videomapping on the National Museum in October 2018. via Raymond Johnston

There has already been a successful videomapping at the National Museum for the 100th anniversary of the founding of Czechoslovakia in October 2018. The square’s capacity seemed best suited to handling the expected large crowds.

The city switched to a videomapping due to complaints from city residents that the noise from the fireworks stressed pets and caused death and injury to wild birds. Options such as silent fireworks or a drone show were also considered.

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“It is a helpful step not only for all citizens of the metropolis who are sensitive to excessive noise, but also for animals that face unnecessary stress every year. I believe that everyone will enjoy the new form of New Year celebrations, and I am glad that we unanimously agreed on it,” Prague City Councilor Jan Chabr (United Force for Prague) said in August when the change was announced.

The city’s official Twitter feed also said it was a positive move: “Prague will see a change for the new year. Instead of New Year’s fireworks, people can look forward to a videomapping. This decision by the city leadership is a step not only for the inhabitants of the metropolis, but also for nature,” City Hall tweeted.

A petition last January opposing future fireworks shows had some 15,000 signatures. But public reaction has been mixed, with many people saying the city is overreacting and taking the fun out of the holiday.

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The first big videomapping in Prague was in 2010 at Old Town Square for the 600th anniversary of the astronomical clock. Since then they have been a popular feature at the annual Signal festival of light art.

In July, a videomapping at the Žižkov Television Tower was used to re-create the launch of Apollo 11 for the 50th anniversary of the moon mission.

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