Art & Culture

Writer Milan Kundera is still alive, Czech Embassy in Paris confirms

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The Czech Embassy in Paris has spoken with the family of Czech-French writer Milan Kundera, 91, who denied the Kundera had died, contrary to reports which appeared on Twitter today.

A number of European websites, including the prestigious Polish paper Gazeta Wyborcza, passed on the information without verifying it. The report on Kundera’s death appeared on the Twitter account which seemingly belongs to Former Czech Ambassador to France Petr Drulak.

The account has 2,333 watchers and was founded this February only.

The information on Kundera’s death, accompanied by his photo, appeared on the account in French, English, and Czech.

Roughly two hours after the news was released, the information appeared on the same account that it was a false account of Italian journalist Tommasso Debenedetti. He has virtually “buried” a number of well-known personalities. Some time ago, he tried to confuse journalists by saying that former Slovak prime minister Vladimir Meciar died on Twitter.

The information on Kundera’s death appeared in a large obituary posted on the website by Gazeta Wyborcza. However, it withdrew the article soon.

“The information about Kundera’s death is fake news,” the website said, wishing Kundera “to live in good health as long as possible.”

The fake news is no longer at the Italian website askanews and the French website Mediamass has corrected the information.

This was the second time that a false Twitter account announced Kundera’s alleged death. In 2017, there the report was posted on the account abusing the name of Kundera’s publishing house Gallimard.

Kundera (Unbearable Lightness of Being), one of the best known Czech writers, left Czechoslovakia for France in 1974, after which the Communist regime stripped him of Czechoslovak citizenship in the late 1970s. He has been a citizen of France since 1981.

Since the November 1989 fall of communism, Kundera has visited Czechoslovakia and the Czech Republic several times.

Last December, he regained Czech citizenship.

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