An art exhibition in Brussels commemorating the Czech presidency of the European Union has become embroiled in controversy.
The sculpture “Entropa” by Czech artist David Cerny features symbols meant to represent E.U. member countries — but Romania is represented as a vampiric theme park, Bulgaria is portrayed as a Turkish toilet system and The Netherlands is shown completely underwater.
The sculpture, commissioned by the Czech government, was supposed to feature the work of 27 different artists from across Europe, but Cerny admitted that he had completed the entire piece on his own and faked the names of the 26 other artists.
David Cerny writes about his motivations for the hoax on his Web site, saying that the depictions “show how difficult and fragmented Europe as a whole can seem.”
Radio Free Europe’s “Transmission” blog writes that reactions to the piece have been mixed, but that the Czech government is to blame given Cerny’s history of “subversive” pranks.
Blogger “Alexander” writes from London that the sculpture is “wonderful” and sheds light on the Czech perspective.
Another English blogger says that Britain was omitted entirely from the piece, and writes that media coverage has ranged from the amused to the indignant.
The “Fistful of Euros” blog writes that the piece is a funny collection of European stereotypes.