Peter Sís , author of Madelenka, The Wall, Starry Messenger, Tibet and more, designed an Aubusson tapestry devoted to the memory and legacy of Václav Havel. It was conceived by Art for Amnesty founder Bill ShTipsey on behalf of Amnesty International and supported by five world famous musicians – Bono, The Edge, Peter Gabriel, Sting and Yoko Ono Lennon. The tapestry, measuring 5 x 4.25 meters, has been donated to the Dagmar and Václav Havel Foundation and will be displayed in Terminal 2 at the recently renamed Václav Havel Airport Prague. I asked Sís, a Czech native, how this tapestry came to be.
“I did pictures about Havel for years I do pictures for Art For Amnesty for years,” he told me. When Havel recieved his ‘Amabassador Of The Conciousness’ from Amnesty I did a poster for that. When he passed last year I was approached by the Czech newspaper HN to do a memorial cover for the special issue on Havel. I was just working on a book about The Conference Of The Birds so I put together “Flying Man” — a flock of birds which is here today gone tomorrow.”
Bill Shipsey the Arts For Amnesty man had an idea to create a lasting memorando to Havel from all his artist friends. In that same time, the Prague airport was renamed after Vaclav Havel. “Bill came up with the idea of weaving a traditional tapestry in historic area of Abusson France. So the atelier of Maitre Rene Duche, with help of Rene Baye weaved this beautiful tapestry in about eight months time. It was unveiled on the Day Of Human Rights, December 9th. in Prague Airport by widiw of Vacla Havel Dagmar and Karel Schwarcenberk friend of Havel,minister of foreign affairs and candidate in the forthcoming presidential elections there….It is hanging in one of the terminals of the airport and they are trying to build a special tower for it.”