Sep 042009

Versiune în română

Nobody in Bucharest (besides its author) seems to like this monument which was added to the Revolution Square in 2005. Even though its official name is “The Rebirth Memorial Eternal Glory to the Romanian Revolution and Its Heroes from December 1989”, the citizens of Bucharest refer to it by various names including “potato on a stick” (the most common one) or “the donut/nut/meatball on a spike”, “the olive on a toothpick”, “the brain skewered on a spike” etc. Apparently its modern design has not appealed at all to the citizens of Bucharest. It is so controversial that last year some of the candidates for the seat of mayor of Bucharest declared that in case they will be elected they will move or demolish the monument.

  6 Responses to “The Potato of the Revolution”

  1. Not a beauty, but there is much worse around. It would be interesting to watch it teared down by the new mayor!

  2. It reminds me slightly of the Obelisk in Buenos Aires. Frankly, I do understand that this monument is polarizing people but IMHO this is what art is all about. Is it so controversial because of its modern approach? What people need is time to get used to it. In addition, I bet Bucharest has other more urgent issues to address than tearing down this monument.

    BTW, do you know something about the deeper meaning behind the 'potato'? It looks a bit like the bird nest stadium of Beijing has been spiked. (:

  3. Vogon Poet: I don't think the new mayor is going to tear it down, but we'll see.

    BA Photoblog: You're right, it does look like the Obelisk.
    There is no deeper meaning in "potato" but there is a double meaning to the word "spike". In Romanian "to spike" or more literally "to pull a spike" also means to con, to swindle someone. Many people call the monument "Ghilduş' spike" – Ghilduş being the artist – which can refer to the shape of the monument but can also be understood as "Ghilduş' con". There were lots of articles in the news that the artist used his influence to get the commission. He got a lot a money out of it, and now people think that the end result is not worth it. That's why they call it a con.

  4. It certainly is a very bizarre monument – but the pathway between Iuliu Maniu and the spike is lovely…very moving, I think…and the sculpture of Maniu…you know, that gets me every time. It is a sculpture of a broken man. It's a message though. Just look at his huge, powerful hands and his feel flat on the floor, his expression. What its saying is, 'you can take everything from me but my dignity.'
    While the toothpick and the potato leaves a lot to be desired (though it doesn't deserved to be torn down since its a conversation piece at the very least)Buenos Aires Photoblog is right – there are far mroe pressing issues in bucharest to be addressed and far too many really beautiful properties are being torn down or left to rot…just look at str. Visarion, 8 and the recently demolished str. M. Rosetti, 38. A decimation of memory, respect and national heritage.

    Very interesting point about the meaning of 'spike'. I didn't know that. And very Roumanian sense of humour. I love that!

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  5. They should not tear it down because the place will look really empty without it and all romanians know that nobody will replace it.

  6. Yes but now it has been tagged… not it looks like a brain on a stick because of the red paint….

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