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Artist creates sensation by mocking EU nations

 Czech artist David Cerny, center, speaks with the media in front of a reflection of his art installation at the EU Council building in Brussels, Thur...

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Czech artist David Cerny, center, speaks with the media in front of a reflection of his art installation at the EU Council building in Brussels, Thur...

Is it a joke? A very expensive art hoax? A sly, shockingly satirical look at the 27 nations that make up the European Union?
Bulgaria is depicted as a squat toilet, which it has formally protested. Germany is shown as laced by autobahns roughly in the shape of a swastika. The Netherlands is covered by floodwaters pierced only by minarets of mosques.
And Sweden is _ what else? _ a box of prefab furniture.
Whatever one's reaction, the new installation celebrating the Czech Republic's six-month presidency of the European Union has achieved the ultimate accomplishment of any piece of art: it created a sensation.
The artist says it is just tongue-in-cheek stuff. But he apologized Thursday for insulting individual countries.
On Thursday, the Czech deputy premier, Alexandr Vondra, came to Brussels to see for himself what the brouhaha at the EU's headquarters was all about.
"Entropa" _ by David Cerny, a Czech artist who is no stranger to controversy _ dominates the lobby of the EU's Justus Lipsius Building. Measuring 25 x 25 meters (yards) it bears the outlines of EU nations on a tubular grid showing each nation, warts and all.
The work was switched on for Vondra and journalists on Thursday. Toy cars on Germany's autobahns immediately started moving, Greek forest fires lit up, the eyes of famed Romanian Count Dracula began flashing a diabolic red and Italian soccer players did unspeakable things with the ball.
The installation also shows France as being on strike, while Polish clergy raise _ Iwo Jima-style _ the rainbow flag of the gay community in their arch-Catholic country. The Czech Republic itself is represented by an LED screen streaming quotes from its euroskeptic president.
Britain is completely absent, reflecting its traditional aloofness from European integration.
While he agreed to remove items that offended any nation's pride, Cerny insisted Britain cannot come into his Europe. Unaccountably, there was no immediate hint of a British protest.
The Czech government says Cerny lied to them because he was paid


Updated : 2021-04-14 23:28 GMT+08:00