Friday, May 12, 2017

Pink Tank

The Pink Tank has come to Brno.  It's sitting in front of the Red Church, at Komenského náměstí, as part of Tribes 90 exhibition organised by the Moravian Gallery.  It will remain on display until early July.

The tank was originally green and it used to be a monument to Soviet tank crews.  In 1945 the tank monument was erected in Prague to commemorate the Soviet liberation of the city at the end of WWII.

For many people, following the Velvet Revolution, the tank came to represent the 1968 Soviet invasion that ended the Prague Spring and the permanent installation of Soviet troops in Czechoslovakia.  Urban legend has it that the "23" that was painted on the turret represented the year of the invasion because 1945 + 23 = 1968.

Then in 1991, then art student, David Černý, along with some of his friends, painted the tank pink.  They also installed a large middle finger on top of the tank.  Černy was arrested for hooliganism and the tank was repainted green.  Then 15 newly elected parliament members, who supported Černý and who all happened to have immunity, painted the tank pink again.  This went on a few times and each time there were protests from the Soviet embassy.  Finally the tank was moved to a military museum about 20 km (13 miles) from Prague.

In June 2011, the Pink Tank returned to Prague to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the withdrawal of Soviet troops in Czechoslovakia.  The middle finger was re-attached to the top and the tank was displayed on a barge on the Vltava river, near the Charles Bridge for a year.

David Černý went on to become one of Czechland's most prominent artists.  He's the one who put the baby sculptures on the Prague TV tower.

The City of Brno put on video out on YouTube showing the Pink Tank being installed.

©Statutárni město Brno

Update:  The Pink Tank will remain in Brno until sometime in September.

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