Medieval Prague with a modern twist

STEPHEN SCOURFIELD's creative Czech lists for one of the world's greatest cities

The Gulliver airship hovers over the rooftops of Prague, and I climb stairs and step inside, surrounded only by its wooden slats and the blue sky beyond.

It is an artwork — a sculpture designed to create a space for conversation and debate.

Prague is more than medieval. It is this DOX Centre for Contemporary Art, just as it is the red and gold medieval art of the National Gallery site backing on to St Agnes Convent. It is Gothic spires, wild rococo church interiors and the flowing art nouveau designs that Czech painter Alphonse Mucha did for stained-glass windows in cathedrals.

But the art scene in Prague will always be a mixed bag. Not infrequently, some will be closed for restoration or the installation of major shows.

There will be international shows, some small galleries will bill big shows that are underwhelming, and others are genuine treasures found by walking the cobbled streets, and being drawn in to one of the many small, private galleries. Many will charge between $10 and $20 per adult.

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