All bells across Bratislava will toll for five minutes at noon on October 13 marking the state funeral of the first Slovak president Michal Kováč. The funeral procession will set off at the same time from Bratislava Castle to the Presidential Palace where the last farewell with military honours will take place.
There will also be 20 volleys from six cannons, the Sme daily wrote.
The coffin with the remains of the president will be carried to St Martin’s Cathedral on a military gun carriage, which was specially designed for official purposes. The carriage will be covered by the state flag, drawn by a military vehicle and accompanied by 180 soldiers, Roman Krpelan, spokesperson for the current President Andrej Kiska, informed the media.
The gun carriage was used five years ago at the funeral of the last Czechoslovak president and dissident Václav Havel. It also carried the remains of the first Czechoslovak president Tomáš Garrigue Masaryk and president Ludvík Svoboda, Krpelan said.
The funeral will also be attended by foreign guests. The only ones who have confirmed their participation so far are Czech President Miloš Zeman and his predecessor Václav Klaus. The speeches will be held by Kiska, Kováč’s step brother Dušan Kováč and former head of the foreign policy department of the President’s Office Pavol Demeš, Sme wrote.
Kováč died on October 5, at the age of 86. The public will be allowed to bid farewell to the former president on October 12 at Bratislava Castle, between 12:00 and 18:00.
Moreover, the public will also be allowed to watch the funeral on a wide screen situated close to St Martin’s Cathedral, Sme wrote.
Kováč will be buried in a private ceremony for close family members only at the Ondrejský Cintorín cemetery, with media and public excluded, the TASR newswire wrote.
11. Oct 2016 at 22:38 | Compiled by Spectator staff