The Czech government apologized to Bulgaria for portraying it as a toilet floor in an official mosaic commissioned to mark the Czech Republic's EU presidency.
NOTE: Original sound only, no reporter narration
SCRIPT: The Czech government has offered apologies to Bulgaria and other member states who may feel offended by an art work it had commissioned to mark the Czech Republic's EU presidency. The large kinetic sculpture inside the European Council building in Brussels, where EU leaders hold their summits, was officially unveiled and its moving parts turned on, anyway, in an official ceremony on Thursday.
Each country in the work is represented in a stereotypical fashion. Romania has a nodding vampire head to illustrate its purported image as a Dracula theme-park and Germany has cars moving on a motorway network of a questionable shape. Italy has soccer players practising with balls in a peculiar way, France is covered with a "Greve" sign meaning "On Strike", Ireland appears to be shown as a bagpipe, while Britain is ignored -- with nothing representing it. The Czech Republic's own section shows a Eurosceptic news-ticker of proclamations by their outspoken president, Vaclav Klaus.
The piece, called Entropa, was created by controversial Czech artist David Cerny, who admitted he had deceived his government into believing it was the work of artists from all 27 EU member states. Cerny and his friends said the art was intended to mystify their government, and get Europe to laugh at its own stereotypes. Bulgaria has condemned its portrayal as a toilet floor, now with flashing lights, as bad taste and wants the work removed.
CZECH DEPUTY PRIME MINISTER IN CHARGE OF EUROPEAN AFFAIRS ALEXANDR VONDRA SAYING:
''Entropa is just art, nothing more, nothing less.... This is not how the Czech government or the presidency view the EU or any member states. Entropa is a provocation of a kind. I understand that some could feel offended and I would like to apologise to them. This is not just concern for the government of Bulgaria but any other member states.''
CZECH ARTIST TOMAS POSPISZYL SAYING:
''The genre of this work is a satire, it is a caricature and the thing we wanted to caricature was on one hand politically correct art, on the other hand art that is trying to be politically controversial.''
ARTIST DAVID CERNY SAYING:
''We are really sorry that we insulted individual nations. It was never been mentioned like insult, insulting anybody.''
''If Bulgaria might feel offended, we would accept those feeling and remove that art. I think that would be fair to them.
(QUESTION: CAN ENGLAND STILL COME IN ?) CERNY: I don't think so... (QUESTION: WHY NOT ?) CERNY: No comment.''
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