International

Entropa of David Cerny Videos Here!

It was hard to find a photo of Entropa by David Cerny, which wouldn’t have the typical © on it. Luckily, there is Youtube, and so we can all rejoice at the videos. Entropa was made by David Cerny to decorate the house of European Parliament in Brussels. David Cerny is one of our best, and at the same time one of the most controversial artists which the Czech Republic have. He didn’t disappoint.

Not only he presented a piece of art that won’t be forgotten, he also made fools of the Czech Government, when he promised to make Entropa with 25 artists from the union countries, but he made it himself with his team, because no one from the government bothered to even come and have a look at what is he doing.

He created a puzzle of the union countries, based on stereotypes, and testing the level of democracy. The country which cracked first was Bulgaria, protrayed as a country of Turkish (squat) toilets. They demanded the country will be hidden under a black blanket, by which making their way of doing needs even more pronounced.

Did Czech Etymologist escaped India with help of Secret Agents?

Darjeeling, city at the traditional border of India and Nepal
It happened on Sunday 19th October 2008. In the morning, the Etymologist Emil Kucera left his room in Darjeeling hotel Sailung. He packed, took his backpack and left for Nepal. He escaped around the famous 8000m mountain Kanchenjunga and was successful – in a week, he already talked to his friends in Tabor. The escape was probably the only possibility, how not to be imprisoned for collecting of beetles. His colleague, who was freed of charges, got back 3 weeks later than him, you can imagine how long it would take until Kucera would get back.

MF Dnes published an article, stating that they have an information from high intelligence service officer, stating “We helped him. It is logical, we help a Czech, who gets in such trouble abroad.” MF state they consider his information as credible, but they also say is is not possible to 100% verify the information; the secret police can’t comment those cases which could harm interests of the Czech Republic in the world.

Some parts of the case still weren’t satisfactory explained. Like: How could he get to the border without anyone noticing him, when his face was medially known? How that no one patrols the border? How about the second passport? How it was possible he got it so fast to Darjeeling? To whom it was sent? Was it really sent by his girlfriend? Those questions evoke many conspiring theories, but the case is over. Even when India can think different – the court still haven’t decided whether he is guilty at the last action in court. If he didn’t escape, he would have still have been imprisoned.

Cerny Reurns Money for Entropia

The author of the controversial sculpture Entropia David Cerny pledged himself he is going to return the money he got for the plastic, which was hung in Brussels and represents the Czech Republic during the Chairmanship. The state paid for it 1,9 million czk, the half a year rent in Brussels was supposed to be 1,2 millions czk, but according to the new contract it only one czk.

The government official says, after Cerny confessed Entropia was not created by 27 artists, but by Cerny and his team, that the artist swindled them. That the whole action was a con was found out after the Bulgarians started to argue against their country being depicted as a country of Turkish (squat) toilets.

Those 1,9 million czk wasn’t enough for the artpiece, the rest (approximately 10 million czk) was paid by a private sponsor. It is clear the plastic will be sold for much more when the chairmanship ends.

A part of Bulgarians Want Back to Entropia

The Czech Republic have agreed to meet wishes of Bulgaria and covered the Bulgarian map of squad toilets with black cloth. The controversial plastic of Entropia by David Cerny was made as an artpiece of Czech European Chairmanship and aroused various passions. The installation, against which Sofia protested is placed in Brusselles building of the EU Council.

Bulgarian officials are happy for now, but on the contrary, the signatories of an Internet petition say censorship of Cerny’s work by the Bulgarian government is a shame for the country and its citizens. They demand the maquette to be displayed again. The petition has been signed by some 470 Bulgarians at home and abroad until today. They state that the possibility of expression one’s opinion is a fundamental value of democratic society.

On the request of Vaclav Klaus, demanding the Czech government would apologise, reacted Mirek Topolanek – he denied it. According to him it is enough the author have apologised already. Klaus is ridiculed by the display of his ‘brilliant quotes’ running on the image of the Czech Republic

Czech Entropia sculpture: Bulgaria under black cover

Bulgarian part of Entropia disappeared after a week. Czechs have fulfilled the wish of Sofia government that the squat toilet depicting Bulgaria in the plastic of Jan Cerny should be removed. They have done it in the night from yesterday to today.

The sculpture attracts attention and some Internet forums speculate, which prestigious European gallery is going to buy it and for how much. One gossip talks about Lisbon’s Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation offering about two millions euro for the sculpture. David Cerny refused to comment now.

The plastic aroused emotion of especially Bulgarians, on both sides. Even at our article at abcprague the reader’s opinions vary from real delight the humour is aimed directly, to the exact opposite of those blaming us for mystification. We try not to lean towards any side, but if one was to Bulgaria, one can’t deny they are there…

The gas crisis over? Russia and Ukraine made an agreement

Gas will arrive to Slovakia on Wednesday the soonest, but it could be the full stop after the gas crisis. Russia and Ukraine have signed agreements for ten years yesterday. Gas should arrive not only to Ukraine, but also the transit should continue to European customers.

The Ukrainian Prime minister Julia Tymoshenko declared: “It is a historical moment – ten years of calm and foreseeable behaviour in European and Ukrainian gas supply.” One catch still remains, though; price, which doesn’t have to relish with Ukrainian president Victor Juscenko, who demanded higher prices of gas transit through Ukrainian territory.

In consequence with continuing obscurities abound Russian supplies of gas to Europe the chairman of the European commission José Manuel Barroso agreed with the Turkish prime mister Recep Tayyip Erdoga on the necessity of gas pipeline, supporting Europe with gas from Azerbaidzhan.

The Israeli – Gaza truce goes as Schwarzenberg predicted

The times, when wars were won by unconditional capitulation are gone. How can we say Israel won the war with Hamas, that controls Gaza? Because they have proposed peace as the first ones, by which announcing the world they have achieved their aims.

It is good to see for Europe, truce is not when somebody decrees it, but when the momentarily more powerful side decides the fight was worth it, like Israel did right now. The development is very close to what Schwarzenberg predicted, who expressed his understatement for the Israeli action, than the hectic Nicholas Sarkozy.

The truce, as it was fought for means Israel is effectively going to control the terms of coexistence, without being under fire as it was until now.

Moscow and Kiev gas agreement

Transit through Ukraine is to be renewed in shortest time, Putin promised after long night negotiations. The Prime Ministers of both countries Vladimir Putin and Yulia Timoshenko have finally made an agreement this weekend, an agreement which should unblock the transit of Russian gas through Ukraine to Europe.

In the moment contracts will be ready, the gas can start flowing. But it is not possible to say, whether there will be any new complication like so many previous times. Putin and Timosenko said they are going to watch the contracts being subscribed, but what is going to do i.e. Ukrainian president Victor Juscenko who has sharp disputes with his prime minister.

The development of the last days proves Moscow have it, once again, their way, and that the power is firmly in the hands of Vladimir Putin and not the Russian President Dimitri Medvedev. Putin demonstrated again Russia is not going to – like in the case of Georgia – make nay compromises. He doesn’t mind the west turning against him.

Czech Josef Machacek won Quad category of Rally Dakar

The 31st edition of the Dakar, the first one in Latin-America, had a Czech winning his league; Josef Machacek became the winner of Quad category in the Rally Dakar race. The Czech rider for Yamaha didn’t find a challenger in his category for the fifth time. Machacek triumphed with the luxurious advance of two and a half hour.

The winners in other categories are Marc Coma in the bike category, Giniel De Villiers in the car category and Firdaus Kabirov in the truck category. In total, 113 bikers, 13 quad riders, 91 car teams and 54 truck teams finished the race.

At the age of fifty Machacek was one of the oldest participants of the south American adventure, but he showed his back to his younger rivals. From the 25 quads at the start his Yamaha was the first behind the target line.

Czech Entropia statue: Slovakia is other country that protests

Czech caricature sculpture Entropia in the atrium of Brussels seat of the European Council was switched on yesterday, with great concern of officers and politicians. Cars at German angular highways started driving and the maquette of the Czech Republic shows on its banner ‘collected quotes’ of Vaclav Klaus about climate. The sculpture moves, plays and puffs. The author David Cerny, who was the architect of the sculpture con arrived as well.

The caricatures aroused great emotions, some countries made their objection, and beside Bulgaria it is newly also Slovakia. Slovakia is against ‘their csabai’ sausage with Hungarian tricolore. The caricature, however, aims directly – Slovakian president Fico stands for the rather extreme right-hand voters, who wish to ‘get rid of Hungarians’, the problem is Hungarians form an inseparable part of Slovakia nation.

Romanian ghost ride twinkles, Dracula shows the teeth, and David Cerny apologises. “We are sorry we cheated the Czech government” He said he didn’t want to take offense and that he is willing to put those countries who wish to down from the plastic. When he said that, the crowd of hundreds of euro-officers sounded surprisingly with disapprovement . “Here is where the sculpture belongs” the British officer Alexandra comments. Source: MF

Gas still not flowing to the EU, Russia blames Ukraine

The gas crisis is probably not over yet, Russian gas still doesn’t flow to Europe. According to Gazprom the problem is Ukraine, which reportedly block the way of gas to Europe. The ITAR-TASS agency stated Gazprom slowly started to restore the supply of gas, which goes through Ukraine, for European customers. But as no gas arrived, bot the quarrelled sides blame each other for who is responsible for the contemporary situation.

One of the states, who suffers from the Russian-Ukrainian dispute the most is Slovakia. The conflict put their government in front of Sophie’s Choice; either to start the second block of nuclear plant in Jaslovske Bohunice and count with lawsuit from the side of European commission, or to listen to the EK and de facto threaten not only their business, but also their citizens.

Russia ended gas transport last Wednesday 7th January, assuming that Ukrainians have been consuming gas intended for Europe. Situation in some countries is critical, biggest problems have Bulgaria and Moldavia. The crisis is going to accelerate construction of other gas routes from other countries and demonstrates Russian power.

Obama Phoned Topolanek and Complimented for Czech Mission at Middle East

The Czech Prime Minister Mirek Topolanek telephoned with the ingoing American president Barrack Obama, who called him as the head of the Europen Comitee, and also appreciate Topolanek’s role which the CR mission played in the Israel-Hamas conflict.

Topolanek stated he repeated his invitation to the Czech Republic; Obama could arrive to an unformal EU summit. What were the other themes he talked with obama he refused to comment.

The mission of Union representatives to the Middle East was led by the Czech foreign minister Karel Schwarzenberg, accompanied by his colleagues from France and Sweeden, eurocomissary Benita Ferrero-Waldner and the high Union representative for foreign policy Javier Solana.

Metropolis full of Euro-commissaries, Czech Chairmanship initiated

Organizers running in and out, air temperatures deep below freezing and fluttering of banners of the present demonstrators, sometimes honking of car horns. Such could be the short description of yesterday evening in front of the National Theatre.

Between seven and eight, it hosted 27 Foreign Ministers of all the EU member countries. Yesterday was the day of the ceremonial opening of our half-a-year Chairmanship. There were planned demonstrations, but only 30 people stayed in the bitter cold with no energy for public nuisance.

The chair of Vaclav Klaus and his wife Livia stayed empty through the evening, but the ex-president Vaclav Havel with Dagmar arrived as stated before. The evening started the Prime Minister, stating the Czech Chairmanship will be ‘in the sign of three Es’; effective, empatic, eclectic.

Schwarzenberg: Gaza development goes in wrong direction

“European Union mission didn’t achieve immediate truce between Israel and Hamas motion, but hope it helped the future development” The foreign minister Karel Schwarzenberg said after returning from the Middle East, where he tried with the EU delegation heads negotiate peace.

“The development goes in the dangerous direction” he continues. “Hamas is responsible for the present state of things and Gaza residents pay the price.” Shwarzenberg represents the opinion of Czech political majority.

“The main obstacle of peace are especially attitudes on both sides of the conflict. Israeli want to stop rocket attacks on their land and to have control of tunnels by which weapons are smuggled into Gaza zone. Without it, there will be no peace.” Schwarzenberg closes.

Le Monde: Klaus is a grumpy choleric, but Schwarzenberg will help

The Thursday volume of the prestigious French magazine Le Monde brings an interview with the Czech Foreign Minister Karel Schwarzenberg. The paper shows they put great expectations into his persona during the Czech EU Chairmanship, they even state “Europe is soon going to be in the hands of the prince”

“Schwarzenberg is the Foreign Minister in the small country with the grumpy, choleric, ultra-liberal and europhobic president Vaclav Klaus” the newspaper wrote, picturing Klaus in a similar way like the last edition of The Economist.

Le Monde so see Schwarzenberg as one of the strong influential personas of those six months of Czech Chairmanship, which starts at the beginning of 2009. The comment also includes Topolanek: “… ultra-liberal prime minister Mirek Topolanek, who is unambiguously calmer, he steers more, and is a personal enemy of the President” the list adds, with the comment the EU can prepare for some hard months.

The list also reminds Klaus doesn’t like Schwarzenberg from the beginning, when he impeached his loyalty and his foreign name. Also, Schwarzenberg lived in exile for fifty years and he is a friend of the ex-Czech president Vaclav Havel, whom Klaus doesn’t like as well.

Classical lightbulbs starting to disappear in September

The European Union have agreed on the gradual ban of selling classical lightbulbs. The alternative, which is was put through are the economic fluorescent tubes, which are able to shine at the same intensity using less energy. On agreeing of the appropriate regulation, experts from member countries associated with in the workgroup for ecological design. The regulation needs to be formally certified by European Parliament and Commission, but no delays are expected there.

In 2010, salesman should stop selling the 100W and stronger lightbulbs. In 2012, the regulation should affect all the ones, which are stronger 25W. In 2016, the final part bans halogen lightbulbs from the shops as well. Economic light bulbs have the same luminous flux like classic lightbubs, but lower energy consumption. Classic 100W lightbulb corresponds to 20W economic fluorescent tub. The energy consumption is so five times lower.

Dali lama visited Czech parliament in Prague

“I believe in the power of truth and justice. China politics of hard line relies on the power of weapons, but the truth… is stronger.” The 73 yo man in red robes said in the packed hall of the Czech parliament yesterday.

The Dali Lama attracts attention of Czechs. His lecture two days ago was absolutely packed, and the possibility to hear him in the parliament yesterday didn’t miss also actors and representatives of various non-government organizations, many of those wearing symbols of Tibet.

The Dali Lama visited the Czech Republic on the behalf of the “Friends of Tibet” group, whose typical members are Martin Bursik and Katerina Jacques, who stated “Citizens of the Czech Republic greatly respect you and sympathize with you”.

The Dali Lama spoke about freedom and spiritual development, as is typical, entertained the people present with funny stories, but also surprised with the opinion, Russia should became a member of NATO, and the central of NATO could than be in Moscow, instead of Brussels.

Representative Radim Chytka from the ODS promised Dali Lama they are going to use the Czech EU chairmanship for expressing support to the Tibet. The Dali Lama continued, that the small countries sometimes have more sense for human rights than the bigger ones.

Klaus vs Lisbon

The Czech Constitutional Court has just decided that the Treaty of Lisbon does not collide with the Czech constitution. That means it can be ratified either by parliament, or by referendum. The latter option is not very likely at this moment, since all the major political actors, except the Communists, are in favour of the parliamentary way.

The court was asked by some ODS senators to examine the Treaty of Lisbon. The senators expressed their doubts about some of the treaty´s features, yet some of them are simply known to be anti- EU. Some suspect the senators of merely delaying the process of ratification. Unlike the government, they are more bound to the president than a wish for efficient cooperation with the EU member states. President Klaus seems increasingly unhappy with Czech EU membership and has recently called himself a dissident in the Union. It seems a bit awkward to call yourself a dissident while being a president of a republic, unrestricted in any way and with daily possibility to fill the media with your comments.

Read the whole article here

Dali-Lama lecture in Prague Congress Centre

The lecture theme was simply ‘understatement: the way to happiness’. His Holiness the Dalai Lama lectured for Czechs in the Prague Congress Centre. “Our state of mind is necessary for reaching a happy life.” He told the audience. The Dali Lama arrived to Prague on invitation of the ex-president Vaclav Havel and the Nadace Forum 2000 foundation.

The Dalai Lama, first name Tandzin Gjamccho, is considered to be the spiritual leader of Tibetans. Chinese Government, which occupies Tibet sine 1959, considers him the symbol of obsolete theocratic system. In 1989 gained the Nobel prize of peace.

After the lecture he meet the prime minister Mirek Topolanek. Topolanek has been supporting Tibetan autonomy even when he wasn’t a prime minister, so they understand well. The other politician the Dalai Lama knows well is Martin Bursik, with whom and The Tibet Friends Group he met afterwards. The evening was, of course, criticized by China representatives. The Dalai Lama stays until Thursday.

Institutional Court: Vaclav Klaus vs EU – Lisbon Treaty

The Czech Constitutional Court is going to negotiate the Lisbon treaty, which is going to change the operation of the European Union. Depending on the standpoint of the court, the treaty will be dealt with by the Czech government lately.

When this year in March Vaclav Klaus hunt the votes among the Czech Parliament in order to became the president again, he promised a lot of things. I remember one – he promised the KDU-CSL, who in the end decided the vote, that he is not going to block the Lisbon treaty, if the government decides they are going to sign it.

Klaus was voted the president and yesterday he declared in Radio Cesko, he is going to hesitate with signing the treaty. That he is going to wait, whether Ireland, the only European country who denied it, is going to change their opinion.

The is other problem is, even when the Institutional Court is going to accredit it, Klaus doesn’t have any deadline for signing, so the treaty hated by him can lay in his drawer for infinity.

Previous