Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty officially has opened its new headquarters in Prague, Czech Republic. RFE/RL is based in Europe and maintains office in Washington.
The new broadcast center facilities will house 500 employees. RFE/RL occupied the former Czechoslovak communist parliament building for 15 years; that facility is being turned over to a museum.
The five-story building is located in the Hagibor neighborhood, infamous for being the site of a Nazi labor camp and transit center to other concentration camps.
In attendance were Broadcasting Board of Governors Joaquin Blaya, Blanquita Cullum, Jeffrey Hirschberg and Steve Simmons. Hirschberg said of the site, “We are proud to be part of an effort that brings light to a place where once there was darkness.”
Also in attendance were RFE/RL President Jeffrey Gedmin, President of Estonia (and former RFE/RL employee) Toomas Hendrik and Mayor of Prague Pavel Bem, along with other European politicians and U.S. officials.
According to RFE/RL, Bem said, “It’s a great blessing to be able to stand in the new headquarters of a media company that will always be a symbol of freedom … Over the decades, RFE/RL’s employees demonstrated bravery and honor in the face of threats from governments who were hostile to free media.”
As RW reported prior, some programming has originated there since February. The building was constructed by French company Orco Property Group and designed by architectural firm Cigler Marani.