Long-term expat Chris Stander passes away at 48

The inimitable Chris Stander. Photo: Provided by family
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Former owner of Terminal bar and neo-Renaissance man was a fixture on the '90s scene...

Prague's favorite controversial iconic iconoclast, troublemaker and tenacious, counter-culture pioneer died peacefully in his home in Prague on Sunday, Jan. 5, 2014,  following two years' treatment for cancer. He was 48.

Chris Stander, born May 1, 1965,  was best known for having founded Terminal Bar (and its related ISP), the Terminal Foundation and Virus Video (in the former Marquis de Sade) during Prague's mid-'90s expat heyday. He was also the face, spirit and personality of these institutions, having meticulously and lavishly filled a niche few knew existed, let alone expected to see filled here any time soon. Born in London, Chris lived in Copenhagen and Sydney before settling in and leaving his indelible mark on Prague.

With such diverse and similar interests as alchemy, football and punk, Internet censorship and Egyptian mythology, Chris was a neo-Renaissance man, dedicated to the pursuit, expression and dissemination of esoteric, fringe and otherwise suppressed knowledge, art and culture. His flat became a well-known and oft-frequented kunstkammer of esoterica, collectibles, monstrosities and memorabilia. A talented graphic artist in his own right, Chris produced many of the era's most memorable posters and flyers prior to opening Terminal Bar.

A seeming study in contrasts, extremes and contradictions, this "iconic enigma" and "extroverted recluse" had a will and determination that transformed the "black and white" into his own "open-minded skeptic" shade of gray. Bursting with ideas and plans, fiercely creative and driven, with loving sarcasm and caustic wit, he synthesized divergent opinions, traditions, technologies and media into a new, strangely uncompromising truth that many found inspiring, enlightening and formative. Instead of thinking 'outside of the box', Chris made his own box and painted it on the outside for all to see.

Known for hosting and attending some of the best parties in Prague, Chris was feature, fixture and furniture of the late-night Prague scene. Few had the stamina to keep up with him. He lived fast, well, full and big: taking in all he could and giving it right back to all who shared his space and time. Stubborn and strong-willed to the end, Chris lived well beyond his doctors' prognosis: long enough to witness the birth and first birthday of his youngest son, Cosmo.

He is survived by both of his parents, a brother, his wife, three sons and countless friends whose lives he touched. A memorial service will be held at Krematorium Strašnice this Saturday, Jan. 11, at 3:30 PM.

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