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Slovakia protests its "sausage map" in official EU artwork

16 January 2009, 00:34 CET
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(BRATISLAVA) - Slovakia protested Thursday against its image in the controversial "Entropa" artwork exhibit in Brussels and said it may ask for it to be removed.

"Slovak Foreign Affairs Minister Jan Kubis expressed his objections to the portrayal of Slovakia in a phone call with the Czech Deputy Prime Minister Alexandr Vondra on Monday, before the artwork was revealed," the ministry said in a statement.

"Entropa," by Czech artist David Cerny, created for the occasion of the Czech EU presidency that started January 1, is a symbolic map of Europe depicting stereotypes attributed to the 27 European Union member countries.

The map depicts Slovakia as a Hungarian sausage or a human body tied by a red-green-and-white string, the national colours of Hungary, apparently referring to the historically tense relations of the two neighbours.

According to the ministry, Slovakia will evaluate the reactions of other EU member states to the artwork and consider asking the Czech Republic to remove its image.

For its part, the junior coalition Slovak National Party (SNS), whose leader Jan Slota is famous for his inflammatory rhetoric against Romas or Hungarians, said Wednesday it was outraged by the sculpture.

"Especially because within EU states, Slovakia is portrayed in a humiliating way -- as a sausage covered in Hungarian colours," said SNS vice-chairwoman Anna Belousova.

She added "in the context of the current Slovak-Hungarian relations, such an act, even though artistic, is a political provocation."

"Entropa" has already sparked protests from Bulgaria for its depiction of the country as a squat toilet. The Czech EU presidency has apologised, saying the image would be removed if Sofia insists.

Commissioned by Prague, the sprawling work, which covers 170 square feet (16 square metres), also satirises other member states, depicting the Netherlands as totally flooded with water, for example, or France as "on Strike."

Text and Picture Copyright 2009 AFP. All other Copyright 2009 EUbusiness Ltd. All rights reserved. This material is intended solely for personal use. Any other reproduction, publication or redistribution of this material without the written agreement of the copyright owner is strictly forbidden and any breach of copyright will be considered actionable.

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