Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

THE BUSINESS INTERVIEW

War and Markets, with Steen Jakobsen, Chief Economist at Saxo Bank

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

France commemorates a hero of the left

Read more

INSIDE THE AMERICAS

Diplomatic strain for John Kerry

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

Germany and Russia 'discuss secret Ukraine deal'

Read more

WEB NEWS

Fake Twitter accounts spread Chinese propaganda

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

Argentina set for deeper recession after default

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

Dr Matshidiso Moeti, Former WHO Deputy Regional Director for Africa

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Towards a 'Third Intifada'?

Read more

DEBATE

Iraq's Christians: Nowhere to Run? (part 2)

Read more

  • Paris hosts first pro-Israel rally since start of Gaza offensive

    Read more

  • Interactive: France’s new game plan to counter jihadism in Africa

    Read more

  • Israel calls up 16,000 more reservists as Gaza death toll soars

    Read more

  • France remembers murdered socialist hero Jean Jaurès

    Read more

  • Air France ground workers to strike on August 2

    Read more

  • Sierra Leone declares state of emergency over Ebola outbreak

    Read more

  • Investigators reach MH17 crash site amid 24-hour ceasefire

    Read more

  • Video: Inside Hamas ‘terror’ tunnels in Gaza

    Read more

  • Scores feared dead in India landslide

    Read more

  • Russia ordered to pay further €1.9 billion to Yukos shareholders

    Read more

  • Iraq's Christians: Nowhere to Run?

    Read more

  • Russia defiant as US, EU unveil 'phase three' sanctions

    Read more

  • US House votes to sue Obama for over-reaching his powers

    Read more

  • Argentina fails to reach deal with creditors

    Read more

Culture Europe

Czechs pull curtain on controversial artwork

Latest update : 2009-01-20

A controversial section of the massive Entropa artwork, representing Bulgaria as a large squat toilet, has been quietly covered with a black curtain as requested by Czech President Vaclav Klaus. Sofia had earlier complained about the installation.

AFP - The Czech EU presidency pulled the curtain down overnight on part of a controversial artwork that portrays Bulgaria as a nation of squat toilets, according to an AFP correspondent early Tuesday.
  
To hide what has turned into an embarrassment for the Czech Republic, which took over the European Union's rotating presidency on January 1, a black sheet was quietly hoisted into place outside working hours.
  
The section of the massive "Entropa" exhibit, which is suspended above the foyer entry to the main EU Council building in Brussels, sparked ire in Bulgaria and the government there pressed for it to be removed or covered up.
  
Czech Deputy Prime Minister Alexandr Vondra aplogised last week, even as the piece was being unveiled, for any offence it might have caused.
  
Created by Czech artist David Cerny to mark the start of Prague's presidency, the installation is a symbolic map of Europe depicting stereotypes attributed to the 27 European Union member countries.
  
The sprawling work covers 170 square feet (16 square metres), and depicts the Netherlands as flooded with water with mosque minarets rising out while France is a nation "on strike."
  
Italy is a giant football pitch with players holding strategically-placed footballs, while Germany's section resembles a swastika. Britain, reputed to be eurosceptic, is totally absent from the artist's view of Europe.
  
The Czech Republic's map runs a ticker with the eurosceptic statements of President Vaclav Klaus.
  
In a letter on Monday, Klaus asked the Czech to "publicly disavow" the exhibit, saying he could accept "neither the method nor the contents" of the installation and criticised its "dubious and offensive message."
  
"I think the government must ... publicly disavow this unfortunate affair and apologise to our partners -- the representatives of Bulgaria and its public in the first place," the staunch eurosceptic wrote.
  
Last week, Cerny apologised to Bulgaria and Prague for his work, saying he had wanted to find out "whether Europe can take a laugh at itself."
  
"If I wanted to insult somebody, it's Vaclav Klaus. Because Klaus insults Czechs," he said.
  
Cerny has also come under fire for deceiving EU officials on how "Entropa" was created, first saying it was done with participation from across the European Union.
  
He later admitted making it himself with a couple of associates.

Date created : 2009-01-20

COMMENT(S)