As with the Czech Republic’s, what other governments have cracked down on artistic freedom in recent years?
“The most famous example of Czech protest art, however, came 15 years later. Early on the morning of April 28, 1991, a 23-year-old art student named David Černý ascended the World War II–era Monument to Soviet Tank Crews in Prague with a group of his friends and painted the green tank bright pink. Although originally erected to commemorate the Soviet liberation of Czechoslovakia from the Nazis, the tank had become “an occupation symbol,” the artist recently recalled when I interviewed him. The police promptly arrested Černý, and under pressure from Moscow—which would not remove the last of its troops from the country until June 1991—the Czechoslovak government ordered the tank repainted. Ten days later, making use of their parliamentary immunity, a group of Czech and Slovak deputies, all former dissidents, again covered it in pink.”
- James Kirchick, Brush with Controversy
Photo courtesy of ABC Prague