TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Former Ambassador-at-large Maysing Yang (楊黃美幸) donated a rare piano to a concert hall in the Czech Republic to thank the people of the Central European country for standing up for Taiwan in the face of Chinese threats.
Czech Senate President Miloš Vystrčil visited the nation at the head of a 90-member delegation from Aug. 30 to Sept. 4 despite threats of retaliation by Beijing against Czech business interests. A Chinese businessman canceled a NT$7 million (US$248,000) order for Petrof pianos, which was then taken up by the foundation of Czech billionaire Karel Komarek.
In order to express her gratitude to the country, Yang said she was donating a special 150th-anniversary edition of an Ant. Petrof 275 concert grand piano to the Rudolfinum Concert Hall in Prague.
The former diplomat announced the move on Dec. 18 to mark the ninth anniversary of the passing of former Czech President Václav Havel. The writer and human rights activist visited Taiwan in 2004 and spoke out on behalf of the country's democracy on many occasions, including at the United Nations 50th-anniversary session in 1995.
Yang had originally purchased the piano, which took five years to make, as a sign of support for Petrof’s predicament, but as the Czech Republic preferred the rare instrument remain inside the country, she decided to donate it to the concert hall, home of the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra.
In a news release, Yang said she hoped “the two countries can further deepen their friendship and cooperation, and that the piano can become a living monument of respect to President Václav Havel and all the freedom-loving Czech people who have supported Taiwan over the years.”