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article imageCzech sculptor gives the country's president the finger (video)

By Anne Sewell     Oct 23, 2013 in Entertainment
Prague - David Černý is a controversial Czech artist, known for his anti-communist stance. Just ahead of the parliamentary polls, he has made a statement by installing a huge purple hand with a raised middle finger, right in the middle of Prague's main river.
Černý, 45, placed the 10-meter plastic sculpture of the hand, making an obscene gesture, on a pontoon boat on Vitava River on Monday, near the famous Charles Bridge and pointing directly at Prague Castle, seat of the leftist President Milos Zeman.
He did this just days before parliamentary elections that could give the communists a taste of power almost a quarter-century after they were ousted.
President Zeman supports a plan by the leftist Social Democrats to form a minority government after the vote with tacit support from the maverick Communist Party.
Černý told the New York Times: “This finger is aimed straight at the castle politics.”
“After 23 years, I am horrified at the prospect of the Communists returning to power and of Zeman helping them to do so.”
Gesture  by Czech sculptor David Černý. October 21  2013  Prague
Gesture, by Czech sculptor David Černý. October 21, 2013, Prague
Jindřich Nosek (NoJin)
Prior to the January presidential elections, Černý was helping Zeman's rival, Karel Schwarzenberg of the Top 09 rightist party, who came second in the polls.
In September, the artist told The Prague Post: “Our president is just another reason not to live in the Czech Republic.”
“The political system here is not good, most people know that,” he added.
The Czech media is reporting that Zeman was away on a visit to the Ukraine when the controversial statue was mounted. Reportedly, through his spokesperson, he has declined to comment on the statue that he has not yet seen.
Černý is well known for his provocative art. He first gained attention in 1991, when arrested for hooliganism after painting a monument to the Soviet tank, which commemorates the liberation of Czechoslovakia by the Red Army in 1945, a bright pink and placing a sculpture of a raised middle finger on top of it - a photo of the tank can be viewed here.
Černý is also famous for coming up with a logo of a red hand, giving the finger, with an obscene slogan written beneath it, referring to the Czech Communist Party. Apparently this logo gained more prominence after the the Rolling Stone’s Keith Richards wore a T-shirt bearing the logo on stage in 2003.
He also gained some international attention with his "larger than life" art installations including the famous "London Booster" at the 2012 Olympics in London. This consisted of a full-size iconic red London bus with giant arms, enabling the vehicle to do push-ups.
London Booster by David Černý.
London Booster by David Černý.
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