April 23, 2009 / 11:45 AM / 10 years ago

Artist to remove EU mosaic after Czech cabinet fall

PRAGUE (Reuters) - The artist of the “Entropa” piece mocking EU member states will take the huge mosaic off an EU council building in Brussels in protest against the fall of the Czech government, he said Thursday.

The 16-meter (52 feet) puzzle won front-page coverage in newspapers around the world in January for poking fun at all 27 EU member states. It portrays Bulgaria as a squat toilet, Italy as a football ground with players making gestures that resemble masturbation, and the Netherlands as a flooded country with only a few minarets sticking out. The piece, in line with an EU custom, was due to hang over the entrance of the main EU Council building until the Czech Republic’s EU presidency ends in June, despite protests from some countries at their image.

However, artist David Cerny said he no longer wanted to be publicly associated with the Czech Republic after the leftist opposition and defectors from the government camp toppled the cabinet of Mirek Topolanek in late March, undermining its EU presidency.

“We look like a bunch of idiots,” Cerny told Reuters.

“We will be taking it down from May 10. I do not agree with the way the old government was thrown out,” he said.

Cerny added he did not back a new interim cabinet being formed because it involved former communists, including the incoming Prime Minister Jan Fischer.

“The old government was my partner, not an autopilot cabinet or a government of former communists,” Cerny said.

Cerny originally deceived the government by pretending

individual pieces of the mosaic were created by artists from each of the 27 EU member states, but later admitted he and two friends had created the entire installation.

Entropa — with Romania as a Dracula theme park, France on strike and Britain, perceived as one of the bloc’s most eurosceptic members, missing altogether — is expected to be displayed in a Prague gallery and later offered for sale.

The installation has lured thousands of visitors to the Brussels EU building, normally ignored on the tourist circuit.

Reporting by Jan Lopatka; Editing by Farah Master

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