Photo Gallery A Sculpture of European Stereotypes

Europe is full of stereotypes. There are the order-loving Germans, the impassioned Italians and the alcoholic British. But a new Czech sculpture at European Union headquarters in Brussels goes too far for many.
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The Czech Republic wanted to add an artistic accent to its six-month stint as holder of the rotating European Union presidency, which began on Jan. 1. But the sculpture in Brussels has not been universally well received. It depicts national stereotypes across the 27-member bloc. And some countries find the piece insulting.

Read the article: "Czech Sculpture No Laughing Matter in Brussels ".

Foto: AP
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At first glance, it looks as though Germany got off relatively easy. The country is depicted in the sculpture, called "Entropa," as being covered with autobahns. Some observers say the autobahn pattern recalls a swastika though artist David Cerny insisted to SPIEGEL ONLINE that that was not his intention.

Foto: AFP
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France, on the other hand, is represented by an outline of the country with a banner reading "Grève" or "strike" hanging across it, a reference to the numerous labor battles the country tends to experience. The artist, David Cerny, told the Czech government that the piece would be created in conjunction with artists from across the EU. Instead, he did it together with a couple of his friends.

Foto: AFP
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The sculpture cost €373,000 to make and it weighs eight tons. Denmark is shown as a collection of colorful Lego blocks -- put together in such a way as to recall the infamous caricature depicting the Prophet Muhammad with a bomb in his turban.

Foto: AFP
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This is Holland, apparently showing the coastal country flooded by ocean waters with only minarets poking above the surface, apparently a reference to the country's at times tense relations with its Muslim minority.

Foto: AFP
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Bulgaria is particularly upset by the sculpture. The country is shown as a Turkish toilet, perhaps recalling that Bulgaria spent centuries under the Turkish yoke. Bulgaria has demanded to be removed from the sculpture.

Foto: AFP
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Tiny Luxembourg is merely a gold nugget with a giant "For Sale" sign sticking out of it.

Foto: AFP
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The model of Spain is entirely gray to represent concrete. The reference is to the enormous construction boom that dominated the Spanish economy until very recently.

Foto: AFP
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It is easy to imagine that the Poles might not be particulalry excited about the depiction of their country -- showing Catholic priests raising a gay pride flag.

Foto: AFP
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This closeup shows Italy's unique love of the Beautiful Game.

Foto: AFP
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Never mind that most Romanians didn't even know about Dracula before communism came to an end in 1989. The rest of Europe sees Romania as little more than a vast Dracula theme park.

Foto: AFP