IN MID March, an old piano was placed in the courtyard of the capital’s Town Hall, available to anyone who wishes to play it. It will eventually be moved to nearby Ventúrska Street, near the corner on Zelená, where it will remain throughout the summer. If it survives this tourist season, it will be brought back next year.

“We want to do something interesting for Bratislava. We want to show how one piano can change the whole atmosphere of the street,” the manager of the Sokratov Inštitút / Socrates’ Institute project, Ján Markoš, from the Centre for Environmental and Ethical Education Živica, told the TASR newswire. He added that he is not afraid of the piano being stolen, as during the day Bratislava City Museum employees in the Town Hall will keep an eye on it, and after closing time at 18:00, the yard will be locked.

“There are cameras there, and the piano weighs about 250 kilograms (551 pounds), so it is not easy to steal,” Markoš explained. “It’s not brand new, anyway. If it breaks, it will not be a big tragedy,” he added. Even in Prague, where cafe manager Ondřej Kobza put a piano outside his cafe, they had no problems with anyone trying to steal it. Similar projects have also proven successful in cities like London and Paris.

Živica came to an agreement with the restaurant Kontakt to place the piano outside the establishment this summer.

On March 18, the piano was festively inaugurated by singer Mária Čírová.