Poland's Gdansk Renames Street After Vaclav Havel

Published December 23, 2011 11:00AM (EST)

WARSAW, Poland (AP) — Gdansk — the birthplace of Poland's Solidarity movement — has renamed a street after Vaclav Havel to honor the Czech anti-communist icon deeply revered by Poles.

Officials in the city, the home of Poland's own anti-communist icon Lech Walesa, inaugurated Vaclav Havel Avenue on Friday, hours before the Czech playwright and president is being laid to rest in his homeland.

Officials say they believe it's the first street worldwide to be named for Havel, who died Sunday at the age of 75.

The news agency PAP says city council members voted unanimously Thursday to rename the street 2 kilometers (3 miles) south of the city center in Havel's honor.

Mayor Pawel Adamowicz said his city, a symbol of democratic transformation in Europe, wanted to honor "the Czech Walesa."

By Salon Staff

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