View Full Version : Czech EU art stokes controversy

01-15-2009, 06:54 PM
new art installation going on display at the European Council building in Brussels has angered EU members with its lampoons of national stereotypes.

The Czech Republic, which holds the EU presidency, thought it had commissioned work from 27 European artists.

But it turned out to have been entirely completed by Czech artist David Cerny. Speaking to the BBC, Mr Cerny explained where his inspiration for the work had come from and if the aim of the hoax, to see whether Europe could laugh at itself, had worked or not.


The 16-sq-m (172-sq-ft) work portrays Germany as a network of motorways somewhat resembling a swastika.

Poland is represented by a group of Catholic monks erecting the rainbow flag of the gay community.

The eight-tonne mosaic depicts France as a nation on strike.

Entropa portrays Romania as a theme-park-styled Dracula's castle.

Luxembourg is depicted as a small lump of gold for sale.

Italy is seen as a massive football pitch, suggesting a nation with a fetish for football.

The depiction of Bulgaria comprises a series of squat toilets.

The Netherlands is seen as series of minarets submerged by a flood - a possible reference to the nation's simmering religious tensions.

Login/Register to hide ads. Scroll down for more posts
01-15-2009, 06:59 PM

Spain is covered entirely in concrete,[16] with a concrete mixer situated near the Basque country

I wasn't able to find all the photos, so here are their descriptions taken from Wikipedia:

* Austria, a known opponent of atomic energy, is a green field dominated by nuclear power plant cooling towers[6]; vapor is coming out of them at intervals
* Belgium is presented as a half-full box of half-eaten Praline chocolates
* Bulgaria is depicted by a series of connected "Turkish" squat toilets[7]; neon-like lights connect and illuminate them
* Cyprus is jigsawed (cut) in half
* The Czech Republic's own piece is an LED display, which flashes controversial quotations by Czech President Václav Klaus
* Denmark is a human face depicted in Lego bricks, reminiscent of the cartoon controversy[8], though any resemblance has been denied by the artist[9]
* Estonia is presented with a hammer and sickle-styled power tools, the country has considered a ban on Communist symbols[10]
* Finland is depicted as a wooden floor and an [apparently drunk] male with a rifle, imagining various animals [11]
* France is draped in a "GRÈVE!" ("STRIKE!") banner[7]
* Germany is a series of interlocking autobahns, described as "somewhat resembling a swastika",[7][12] though that is not universally accepted.[13] The cars move along the roads.
* Greece is depicted as a forest that is entirely burned, possibly representing the 2007 Greek forest fires and the 2008 civil unrest in Greece.[14]
* Hungary features an Atomium made of its common agricultural products melons and Hungarian sausages, based on a floor of peppers
* Ireland is depicted as a brown bog with bagpipes protruding from Northern Ireland; the bagpipes play music every five minutes[citation needed]
* Italy is depicted as a football pitch[7]; players who hold a ball are moving it back and forth
* Latvia is shown as covered with mountains, in contrast to its actual flat landscape
* Lithuania has the Brussels landmark of Manneken Pis urinating on its eastern neighbours; the streams of urine are presented by a yellow lighting glass fibers
* Luxembourg is displayed as a gold nugget with "For Sale" tag[7]
* Malta is a tiny island with its prehistoric dwarf elephant as its only decoration; there's a magnifying glass in front of the elephant
* The Netherlands has disappeared under the sea with only a several minarets still visible;[7] the piece is supposed to emit the singing of muezzins
* Poland has a piece with priests erecting the rainbow flag of the Gay rights movement, in the style of the U.S. soldiers raising the Stars and Stripes at Iwo Jima.[15]
* Portugal is shown as a wooden cutting board with three pieces of meat in the shape of its former colonies of Brazil, Angola, and Mozambique
* Romania is a Dracula-style theme park[7], blinking and emitting ghostly sounds at intervals
* Slovakia is depicted as a Hungarian sausage (or a human body tightened by Hungarian tricolour)
* Slovenia is shown as a rock engraved with the words first tourists came here 1213
* Spain is covered entirely in concrete,[16] with a concrete mixer situated near the Basque country
* Sweden does not have an outline, but is represented as a large Ikea-style self-assembly furniture box, containing Gripen fighter planes[citation needed] (as supplied to the Czech Air Force)
* The United Kingdom, known for its Euroscepticism and relative isolation from the Continent, is "included" as missing piece (an empty space) at the top-left of the work[7]

Hey there! Looks like you're enjoying the discussion, but you're not signed up for an account.

When you create an account, you can participate in the discussions and share your thoughts. You also get notifications, here and via email, whenever new posts are made. And you can like posts and make new friends.
Sign Up

Similar Threads

  1. Replies: 14
    Last Post: 02-20-2010, 08:22 PM
  2. Replies: 5
    Last Post: 06-29-2009, 02:42 PM
  3. Replies: 1
    Last Post: 05-11-2008, 04:28 PM
  4. Replies: 0
    Last Post: 04-29-2006, 02:16 PM


Experience a richer experience on our mobile app!