competetion for prague WW2 memorial
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A Prague reverses war memorial decision after sculptor's anti-communist comments
- PRAGUE (AFP) via Monday October 04, 2004

AFP/FilePrague city chiefs reversed a decision to have a war memorial built by controversial internationally-acclaimed artist David Cerny over anti-communist comments he made.

Cerny won a contest to design the memorial to World War Two resistance fighters, which will be erected close to the Vltava river in the city's Mala Strana district on the second anniversary of the end of the second world war next May.

But the council for the Prague city center district overturned its earlier decision after Cerny recently said in response to a journalist's question "A good communist is a dead communist".

Cerny had been asked if he did not mind that many communists were among those being commemorated by his sculpture.

"Fifteen years after the Velvet Revolution where we thought that we had believed that we had thrown off the communist scoundrels, communists still have a big say in our society," Cerny said Monday.

"I don't understand how a newspaper article could change the results of a competition," he added.

Cerny's sculpture was to be metallic, formed by two corridors representing flags, and full of holes, which have the form of face silhouettes. The 150,000 holes corresponded to the estimated number of victims of the resistance during World War Two.

The Czech Union of Freedom Fighters had objected that the number of holes did not accurately represent the number of victims, a figure which is still disputed. The association say that the total number of Czech victims of Nazism is 360,000.

The council will now enter discussions with second-placed artist Vladimir Vihan.

Many of 37-year-old Cerny's previous projects have proved controversial. They include the pink tank, the large babies crawling up a television transmitter tower and the walking Trabant commemorating east Germans who fled for the west in 1989.

Cerny's latest project is a fountain featuring two men urinating text messages .