Plovdiv Mayor Unwavering about David Cerny Ban

Domestic | October 9, 2009, Friday // 10:31|  views

The Mayor of Plovdiv, Slavcho Atanasov, says there is nothing scandalous in his ban of artist David Cerny; it is just normal statesmanship. Photo by BGNES

The Mayor of Plovdiv, Slavcho Atanasov, declared Friday he still intends to not allow controversial Czech artist, David Cerny, to have an exhibit in his city.

In an interview for the morning block of the TV channel bTV, Atanasov informed he was going to send two policemen to guard the entrance of the so-called “Banyia Starinna” where the artist is scheduled to take part in an exhibit Saturday.

On Tuesday, Atanasov, Mayor of Bulgaria’s second largest city Plovdiv, banned Cerny's upcoming exhibit. His decision came on the heels of a declaration of municipal councilors from the nationalist Ataka party saying it is unacceptable for the man who depicted Bulgaria as a Turkish toilet to be welcomed in the country.

Cerny's exhibit is part of the project of local curator, Emil Marazchiev, titled “European Art 20 years after the Iron Curtain.”

Atanasov further said Friday he was going to assign a tour guide free of charge to accompany the artist and show him the cultural and historical sites and traditions of Plovdiv.

“This man violated our national dignity,” Atanasov firmly declared, adding his position was not scandalous, but rather a reflection of normal statesmanship.

Emil Marazchiev, says he could not understand how it would be possible to ban Cerny’s access to a public space. The curator explained he was expecting official notification from the artist if he would definitely arrive in Plovdiv.

In the meantime, Bulgaria's Prime Minister, Boyko Borisov, stated he was going to meet with Cerny Sunday in Sofia because he deems important that people know Bulgaria is a democratic country and does not censor any expression of artists and intellectuals.”

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 installation at the European Council building in Brussels called "Entropa".

The piece, which was mounted in January, 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 resembling a swastika.

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

It is believed Cerny plans 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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