Offended Czech Artist David Cerny Scorns Bulgaria Invitation

Society | October 10, 2009, Saturday // 10:25
Bulgaria: Offended Czech Artist David Cerny Scorns Bulgaria Invitation David Cerny says he does not feel welcome in Bulgaria. Photo by EPA/BGNES

David Cerny, the Czech art world enfant terrible, who triggered a heated controversy with a planned participation in an exhibition at the Bulgarian town of Plovdiv, has given up plans to visit the country, saying he is offended.

The artist, who depicted Bulgaria as a Turkish toilet at an installation in Brussels called "Entropa", has told the organizers of the event he does not feel welcome in Bulgaria.

He has even turned down the invitation for a meeting by Bulgaria's Prime Minister Boyko Borisov, who defended the artist, saying Bulgaria is a democratic country and “does not censor any expression of artists and intellectuals.”

David Cerny was invited to Bulgaria by local curator Emil Mirazchiev, who will unveil on October 10 the exposition “European art 20 years after the Iron Curtain”.

Slavcho Atanasov, Mayor of Bulgaria’s second largest city Plovdiv, however banned Cerny's upcoming exhibit on the heels of protests by municipal councilors from the nationalist Ataka party.

The Czech Republic, which recently gave up the six-month presidency of the European Union, and Bulgaria are still reeling from the scandal caused by Cerny's satire of European stereotypes in an eight-ton mosaic of the bloc's 27 nations called "Entropa" last January.

The piece, which was installed at the European Council building in Brussels, was supposed to proudly display unique traits of each country in the union. Instead, it depicted Bulgaria as a Turkish toilet, Catholic Poland as a group of priests raising a gay flag and Germany as a network of motorways eerily resembling a swastika.

Only Bulgaria protested against the way it has been depicted, which resulted in the toilet being draped in a black veil, making it even more visible.

It is believed that Cerny planned to put on stage at the upcoming exhibit namely this black cloth.

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Tags: David Cerny, Slavcho Atanasov, Ataka, Entropa, Brussels, European Presidency, Czech, Boyko Borisov
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