Černý's mosaic in Brussels reveals Prophet Mohammed

CzechNews
14. 1. 2009 14:18
Legoland of Denmark bears a striking similarity to infamous Danish cartoons
Foto: ČT

Prague - As soon as Czech artist David Černý confessed that he was behind the artwork that is displayed in Brussels, here is another controversial revelation.

The mosaic formed as a map of Europe uses stereotypes of EU member states and the design of Denmark´s legoland bears a striking similarity to the Danish cartoons of Prophet Mohammed.

According to the Danish ambassador to the Czech Republic Ole Moesby Denmark does not fear it would lead to massive protests like it did when the Danish cartoons were first published by a Danish daily broadsheet Jyllands-Posten.

"What I understand is that no Danish artist participated at this and it is solely a piece by a Czech artist, "  Ole Moesby said for Aktuálně.cz.

"We protect the freedom of speech. If I were him, I would point out something else - our effort to fight the global warming or flex secure."

Karin Larsen from Danish public service radio says that Černý's piece tells something about the way Europe looks at Denmark these days.

"The image of Denmark today has certainly challenged the freedom of speech," says Karin Larsen.

The mosaic, entitled Entropa, shows for example France on a strike, Romania as a Dracula inspired park, Italy as a team of footballers playing with balls and the Netherlands flooded by water with only minarets peeking through the waves.

Foto: Reuters

"Profound indignation"

In the meantime, Bulgaria expressed a "profound indignation" about the way the country is depicted in Černý´s map of Europe. The piece displays "Turkish" toilets in the map of Bulgaria.

"If any of the countries feels offended, let them be offended," says Karin Larsen. "You can laugh about it, you can get offended or angry about it but David Černý has its own freedom of speech," adds the Danish journalist. 

She also pointed out that it is David Černý and everybody should have expected it would be "provocative".

The Prophet Mohammed's image was revealed only a few days after the artwork was installed at the European Council building thanks to a text attached to the artwork which says: "We too should grasp the whole picture of the world, let's not get caught up in individual pictures but see what they form." 

Černý declining

In an interview for Aktuálně.cz David Černý declined to speculate it is a carricature of Prophet Mohammed. But Danish journalists from Ritzau press agency saw the artwork and wrote that "it bears a similarity to Mohammed to say the least".

BBC's chief correspondent in Brussels Mark Mardell saw just as much, and he made it clear in his blog: "There is no clue in the angled picture in the brochure, but TV and still pictures of the design do look at a distance rather like one of the infamous Danish cartoons of Mohammed."

Czech Deputy PM for EU Affairs Alexandr Vondra said that "in today's Europe there is no place for censorship".

Černý´s mosaic is to be officially opened on Thursday January 15. The 27 artists representing each member state were originally supposed to be present at the grand opening. 


 

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