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Czech Artist Offends Europe

01.21.2009 - Art Hoax Unites Europe in Displeasure

To commemorate the start of its six-month presidency of the European Union, the Czech Republic government commissioned artist David Cerny to create an installation for the European Council building. They asked Cerny to create a piece symbolizing Europe's glory by depicting something special about each country.

Cerny, known for his controversial art, deviated from the plan. The 8-ton mosaic, titled "Entropa," portrays each country as the plastic snap-out pieces commonly seen in modeling kits. There's no glorification in sight.

Bulgaria is a series of crude toilets. Italy is a soccer field with players pleasuring themselves with soccer balls. France is on strike. Germany is a series of highways slightly resembling a swastika.

What about England? Well, that piece is missing altogether, a jab at their euroscepticism (opposition to the EU).

Though it would have been easy to depict England as drunken, red-faced hooligans vomiting on each other, the fact that it's missing is much more significant. Cerny raises an important question: Would Europe be better off without England? Besides the spectacle of drunken horses stumbling around town, we can't think of anything they would be missing out on.

The mosaic is currently hanging above the European Council's offices in Brussels.

The BBC has a slideshow of Cerny's "Entropa."

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