The concluding part of the exhibitions of the faculties of Charles University was devoted to the trio of theological faculties. At a ceremonial opening on the 24th of September 1998 the exhibition was opened by the CU Vice-Rector, Professor Jaroslav Panek. On behalf of the faculties concerned the Dean of the CU Protestant Theological Faculty, Prof. Petr Pokorny, gave a speech in which he emphasized that theology stood at the cradle of the university idea. Containing dozens of exhibits, the exhibition illustrates the past and present of all three CU theological faculties: Catholic, Hussite and Protestant.In the cloisters of the Carolinum the Hussite Theological Faculty exhibited its new insignia on view (the mace, and the chain of the Vice-Dean and Promotor) and the Protestant Theological Faculty presented a selection of rare old prints and library plans (thesaurus), while the Catholic Theology Faculty offers visitors a set of historical objects (such as a crucifix from the dean' study, a bible for the taking of oaths, the treasury, a doctoral beret and ring, and a goblet for the election of dean). While the long-term exhibition on the history of Charles University continues, the cycle of faculty exhibitions ended on the 5th of November, 1998.
Until the end of October 1998, visitors to the Carolinum had the opportunity to admire the collection of donations by Czech artists in honour of the 650th anniversary of Charles University. These examples of contemporary art, temporarily exhibited in the Carolinum gallery, will now greatly enrich the existing university treasury of works of art that has been built up over several centuries. The new CU building in Jinonice is to become the centre of a kind of university "collection" of modern art. 114 works will be placed there, while 172 have been allocated to individual faculties and CU centres. The Jinonice building will also become the home of the sculpture, "Sleeping Muse", dedicated to the honour of the 650th anniversary of CU and also as a contribution to the deepening of Czech-Slovenian relations by the Maribor-born sculptor Andrej Grabovec Gaberi. The sculpture, carved out of Slovenia tomolite, ways 140 kg and will be transported with its two-ton plinth to Prague by the Slovenian side. The Slovenian artist Gaberi is known in his country for his magnificent public sculptures, among which the cycle inspired by the muses is one of the most famous.
In Advent it has already become traditional for the university community to gather in the Great Hall of the Carolinum for the Christmas Concert. The University Arts Ensemble of Charles University - Collegium musicum Universitatis Carolinae - with its conductor Adolf Melichar, offered the audience a chance to draw breath, and even allow themselves a space for spiritual contemplation. At the beginning of the evening's programme the CU Rector, Prof. Karel Maly, greeted all present, and looked back on the past year. In his view, 1998 had not only brought the university into closer contact with its traditions, but had also shown how "university ideals could be used for future generations. It has been a success, and it seems that Charles University has taken up the place in society that belongs to it..."
Then the Arts Ensemble choir followed what is this year a tradition fifty years old by showing their quality in performance of works by European masters in the first half - Monteverdi, Purcell, Messiaen, Part and Poulenc, before going on, after the interval, to perform Ryba's Czech Christmas Mass - Hey Master! for solo, choir, orchestra and organ. The soloists were Zuzana Horakova (soprano), Teresa Roglova (alto), Ales Biscein (tenor) and Radek Krejci (bass). After a standing ovation from the audience, all present including the performers sang a Christmas carol with great feeling...
It is twenty years since the Charter 77 Foundation was founded in Stockholm, Sweden, in the initiative of Professor Frantisek Janouch. In the years before the Velvet Revolution the foundation was principally concerned with the material and moral support of dissidents, but after 1989 it moved to Prague and had to start to seek a new mission and orientation. This it has found mainly in charitable fields and specific projects such as "Gamma-Knife" or "Barrier Account". In the (last?) six years the Foundation has distributed 60 million crowns...
In the last months of the jubilee year 1998 there were several events to celebrate the Foundation's first and uninterrupted twenty years of existence. On the 4th of December, 1998, the Charter 77 Foundation organized a major anniversary gathering entitled "Encounters" in the Carolinum, which was attended by such well-known dissidents as Ludvik Vaculik, Jirina Siklova, Eva Kanturkova, Zdenek Jicinsky, Jan Ruml senior, Jan Kacer and their friends from abroad.
Another project was the arrangement of a fourth art auction exhibition in aid of the "Barrier Account" in the exhibition areas of the Carolinum over three weeks from the 17th of November, 1998. Almost five hundred items from this year's catalogue were auctioned for a total of 2,997,650 crowns on the 12th of December, 1998. The work that excited the most interest was the glass sculpture, Small Diagonal by the married couple Libensky-Brychtova (from a starting price of 45,000 it went for a record 270,000 crowns!)
Buyers dueled passionately over Ales Lamr's picture, Constellation, in the Czech Savings Bank in Rytirska Street, Prague. From a starting price of 45,000 the evental auction price soared to 76,000 Kc.
Great names in painting and graphics aroused great interest at the audience. Gallery owners and other buyers paid high prices especially for certain glass objects.
One of the best-known of dissidents, the writer Ludvik Vaculik, shares his memories with others gathered at the celebratory "Encounter" meeting in the Carolinum.
Many staff at Charles University find relief from their demanding research and teaching work in the pursuit of various hobbies in their spare time. Among the most common pursuits are home music-making and Sunday painting. Pictures painted in the home studios of teachers at Charles University, have become a regular feature in this year's editions of Forum magazine.Prof. Milos Macek, CU 2nd Medical Faculty, Motif from Normandy (1992)