TV station from Czech Republic tapes TV program at A-bomb Dome

by Kei Kinugawa, Staff Writer

On October 25, a six-member crew of a television station in the Czech Republic taped a TV program at the A-bomb Dome in downtown Hiroshima. The Hiroshima Prefectural Industrial Promotion Hall, the identity of the A-bomb Dome before the atomic bombing, was designed by the Czech architect Jan Letzel (1880-1925). In a six-part TV series, the feats of Czech architects, including Jan Letzel, who was active in Japan, will be highlighted.

David Vavra, 53, a popular actor and architect, reported in the rain on the materials, such as brick, used to construct the building, and the destructive power of the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima. He stressed in his report that Jan Letzel is barely known in the Czech Republic, but he was an extraordinary pioneer who laid the foundation for modern architecture in Japan.

Mr. Letzel came to Japan in 1907. The former Hiroshima Prefectural Industrial Promotion Hall was completed in 1915, and was first dubbed the Hiroshima Prefectural Commercial Exhibition Hall.

Radvan Lipus, 44, who directed the taping, said that he was speechless when he first saw the A-bomb Dome, evidence of the most extreme act of violence in human history.

The crew began shooting in Japan on October 1. In the Hiroshima area, they have also taped segments at Peace Memorial Museum and Itsukushima Shrine. The series will be aired in the Czech Republic next March.

(Originally published on October 26, 2010)