October 3, 2019: Memorial for Karel Gott outside his Prague 5 residence via Raymond Johnston

Karel Gott will have a funeral with state honors, says PM Andrej Babiš

The farewell to late Czech pop star Karel Gott will take the form of a funeral with state honors, not of a usual state funeral

Prague, Oct 3 (CTK) – The last farewell with late Czech pop star Karel Gott will have the form of a funeral with state honours, not of a usual state funeral, Prime Minister Andrej Babiš (ANO) told journalists today.

Babis said he wanted to tell the public where and when Gott will be buried in the afternoon.

Culture Minister Lubomir Zaoralek (Social Democrats, CSSD) said the government was waiting for the position of Gott’s family.

The most famous Czech pop singer Gott died from acute leukemia at 80 on Tuesday night.

“I will try to tell the public at least the date of the funeral and the official place where citizens may pay respects to him in the afternoon,” Babis said.

“I am intensively working on this. On Wednesday I discussed this with his family. Today, a small team will meet over the affair,” he added.

“The negotiations have not advanced because we are waiting for the family’s position and we will not be able to comment on this. I think that these affairs should proceed in a discreet way,” Zaoralek said.

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October 3, 2019: Memorial for Karel Gott outside his Prague 5 residence via Raymond Johnston
October 3, 2019: Memorial for Karel Gott outside his Prague 5 residence via Raymond Johnston

On Wednesday, the government decided to stage a state funeral for Gott and to hold a state mourning on its day.

Babis said today rather than the usual state funeral, this would be a funeral with state honours which had different official rules.

A former director of the Presidential Office Protocol, Jindrich Forejt, has told the paper Mlada fronta Dnes that a state funeral consists of several ceremonial act such as a mourning parliamentary session and the carrying of the coffin on a gun-carriage followed by the military top brass.

This format primarily arises from the state funeral being an homage to a late president, who was also the chief commander of the armed forces.

Forejt told the tabloid Blesk that the funeral with state honours differed from the state funeral because there is no military march and only a guard of honour is present.

In this way, the Czech Republic staged the last farewell with former ombudsman Otakar Motejl who died in 2010.

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On Wednesday, the programmes devoted to Gott were watched by over 2.1 million viewers on the three biggest television channels in their prime time. This meant almost 60 percent of television viewers.

The premier of the documentary I Will Keep My Mind was the most watched programme about Gott. It was seen by 1.2 million people on the commercial television station Nova.

The main newscast programmes, too, devoted much of their air time to Gott.

The biggest viewing figures were achieved by the Televizni noviny [TV News] at Nova, with the proportion of 43.5 percent, which is about 1.62 million people.

The public CT24 launched a continual special broadcast and commercial stations offered special newscast entries.

Gott was the most popular Czech pop singer. He released almost 300 LPs and sold tens of millions of records.

pvr/dr/hol

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