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Madonna gig: a bridge too far.

First it was European Christians offended by her crucifix stage effects. Now, a planned Sept. 9 soiree in Prague has been canceled as another Madonna perf was caught up in a political tussle over closure of the famed Charles Bridge.

To follow her two sold-out gigs in Prague, Louis Vuitton had booked a quiet soiree with the pop star--smack dab on the city's busiest and most treasured cultural icon.

Though it's often cast in films, the stone span built in 1357 has not been closed since the historic floods of 2002.

But Prague mayor Vladimir Vihan, who approved the closing of the bridge for the party, was hit by a storm of outrage from preservationists and city council members.

In Parliament, Sen. Martin Mejstrik said the party plan amounted to "turning this piece of cultural heritage into a cultural whore."

As the closure generated shocked headlines, the city's lord mayor, Pavel Bem, slapped new conditions on the party: Vuitton would have to keep the bridge open for the daily flow of foot traffic, reduce its rental from four days to one night and pledge not to damage a single stone.

Instead, Vuitton opted to cancel the gig, expressing hope that its $50,000 fee could be used for an alternate space for VIPs to hang with Madonna and listen to a short private set.

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Title Annotation:Smoke & Mirrors: BEHIND THE SCENES OF THE BIZ'S DEALS, DECISIONS AND DIVERSIONS; Madonna performance caught up in a political tussle over closure of Charles Bridge in Prague
Author:Tizard, Will
Publication:Variety
Article Type:Brief article
Geographic Code:4EXCZ
Date:Sep 4, 2006
Words:224
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