Hungarian sculptor Peter Parkanyi Raab has come to the defense of his recently installed Budapest monument to the victims of the Nazi occupation. Artnews.com reported that critics claim the piece—in Szabadsag Square—portrays “the mound of Hungary” being plucked from the Archangel Gabriel’s hand by a German eagle—thus diminishing the country’s part in Nazi atrocities. Protesters have gathered at the site. Parkanyi Raab disagrees with them. “The key element is the mound falling off from Gabriel’s hand,” he said. “Hungary’s responsibility appears in the composition there, it didn’t keep silent about that. With his eyes closed, our heavenly patron is inactive, lets the occupation take place and all the horrors happen that came afterward.”
The sculptor further stated his work was meant to symbolize a reconciliation between Jewish and non-Jewish Hungarians. Sadly, the monument apparently has worsened social and political tensions in Hungary. It seems that sometimes art is political, for good or ill.