Just a couple of months after social democratic chancellor hopeful Peer Steinbrück flipped the bird on the cover of a top German news magazine, the middle finger is back at the heart of a European election campaign.
With the Czech Republic set to vote on Friday and Saturday in parliamentary elections, artist David Černý erected a 30-foot-tall purple hand with an outstretched middle finger and is floating it down the Vltava that divides Prague, the capital of the Czech Republic, pointed toward the presidential palace and Czech president Miloš Zeman:
Mr. Cerny said the monumental hand with its 16-foot-long outstretched middle finger, placed on a float facing the castle, was a “scream of alarm” against the state of politics in the Czech Republic, endemic corruption and Mr. Zeman, a former leftist prime minister, whom he accused of becoming intoxicated with power. He said the sculpture, which he gave an unprintable title, was also aimed at the country’s Communist Party, which could gain a share of power in the coming elections for the first time since the revolution that overthrew communism more than two decades ago.
“This finger is aimed straight at the castle politics,” Mr. Cerny said by phone from Prague, the Czech capital. “After 23 years, I am horrified at the prospect of the Communists returning to power and of Mr. Zeman helping them to do so.”
Here’s a longer look at the circumstances leading up to the weekend’s snap elections.
Photo credit to Michal Cizekmichal/AFP/Getty.