Videomapping at the National Museum in Prague (Illustrative image)

Provider chosen for Prague’s New Year’s Day videomapping at National Museum, rogue fireworks show unlikely

A videomapping will replace New Year's Day fireworks in Prague

The New Year’s Day videomapping on Prague’s National Museum will be provided by Art 4 Promotion at a cost less than 2 million CZK.

A campaign to raise funds for a privately backed fireworks show has fallen flat, and that show will likely not happen.

This was the second selection procedure for the videomapping. An earlier one that ended in October was unsuccessful, as the only entry did not meet the criteria. In the second tender, the city removed the obligation that the video firm would ensure safety, which the city will now be responsible for.

“The videomapping will be divided into seven scenes and should take 10 minutes. It is called We, Prague (My, Praha). The show will be screened at the National Museum building and will be repeated three times every hour [on January 1, 2020]; the first screening will start at 6:15 pm,” City |Hall spokesman Vít Hofman said.

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

“The company [Art 4 Promotion] will perform video mapping for the price of 1,990,000 CZK excluding VAT. The selected contractor met all the requirements and their creative design met the objectives of the capital,” Hofman said.

This estimated cost of the videomapping is slightly more than the 2019 fireworks show, which cost 1.7 million CZK and lasted 11 minutes.

City Hall in August decided to replace the classical firework with a videomapping, as the noise disturbs both pets and wild animals, and also causes air pollution. The administration, led by the Pirates, said before the January 1, 2019, fireworks show that they opposed fireworks but the contracts had already been signed. At that time, they mentioned a drone show as an option for 2020.

National Museum
Videomapping at the National Museum in October 2018. via Raymond Johnston

The previous City Hall administration considered silent fireworks to reduce stress on animals. Experts said this was not realistic given the size of the show.

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Officials previously said they believe the videomapping will be popular with the public. “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.

The firm behind last year’s fireworks and the civic association Ohňostroj pro Praha (Fireworks for Prague) announced in the middle of October that they were raising funds for a January 1, 2020, fireworks show to be held at an undisclosed private location.

Fireworks over Charles Bridge. via Raymond Johnston

They announced a bank account number that people could contribute to in order to support the rival show, but less than 40,000 CZK has been raised, while the show in total would cost 1 million CZK to 3 million CZK.

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The Facebook page for Ohňostroj pro Praha said the size of the show would be decided by how much people contributed, but the amount raised so far is less than 5% of the minimum needed.

Martin Peter, designer and choreographer of the last five New Year’s Day fireworks shows in Prague, said fireworks have a long history, and he wants to see the art form preserved. “Already during the time of [Emperor] Rudolph II. we were the real European cradle of fireworks, and Prague fireworks have been connecting people for many decades,” he said in October.

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