The official unveiling of a controversial art installation, ‘Entropa’, in the atrium of the European Council building in Brussels has given the opportunity for the country which commissioned it to apologise.
The apology was delivered by Alexandr Vondra, the Deputy Prime Minister of the Czech Republic, the EU’s presiding nation till July. Vondra said: “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 apologize to them.” Euronews had incorrectly identified one insulted country with figures urinating, rather than the artist’s conception of toilets. The artist David Cerny had been contracted to coordinate artists from each EU member, but, with friends, handled the assignment on his own: Cerny said: “I seriously – we seriously – expected that it will be taken as a joke, as a nice piece of art, as a nice installation, and nothing else, so I don’t feel like a big success when we are talking about taking down parts of the sculpture. I would much rather have it as a whole thing.” Vondra reserved judgement. He said it was nothing more or less than art (aimed at dispelling stereotypes), and that 20 years after the fall of the Iron Curtain, censorship was out.