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European Sculpture Wars

With political correctness rampant in this great nation of ours, and even the blandest statement sending oversensitive types into a frenzy of indignation, thank goodness for the Czech Republic.In order to celebrate their accession to the EU presidency they commissioned a £350,000 sculpture from the unpredictable Czech artist David Cerny.

Brussels Grand Place (mishkabear/flickr)

Brussels Grand Place (mishkabear/flickr)

Instead of organising artists in other EU countries to contribute to the project as agreed, he knocked the whole lot together with his pals, having a bit of fun with European stereotypes at the same time. Holland is depicted as a series of submerged mosque minarets, the UK isn’t in it, Bulgaria are hot under the collar as they have been depicted as a toilet, while French feathers have been ruffled with a big ‘On Strike’ banner hung across the country.

Well how amusing – it’s about time Brussels gave us a good laugh.
It is even more amusing because it is at the expense of every member state and not at the expense of one – unless you count the £350,000 that is, although he has offered to give the money back.
Mr Cerny said the aim was not to insult people, but to “find out if Europe can laugh at itself”, rather than at each other as we usually do presumably. Maybe it will all be for the best – Victor Borge said that “Laughter is the shortest distance between two people”, so perhaps it will bring us all closer in the end.

And while on the subject of European harmony, here’s Basil Fawlty annoying the Germans  who, incidentally, were depicted in the sculpture by a jumble of autobahns.


Curious facts and quotes

The excellent ‘The Chap’ Magazine invites readers to highlight and lampoon ‘horrific examples’ of political correctness. Find them here.

“The English are not happy unless they are miserable, the Irish are not at peace unless they are at war, and the Scots are not at home unless they are abroad”.
George Orwell