A wonderful example of Czech irreverent humour

My wife Vee and I have just returned from a long weekend (four nights) in Prague where we were attending the wedding of a dear friend. It was my 24th trip to the Czech Republic, largely explained by the fact that Vee is half Czech.

We have seen all the sights so many times so, on recent visits, we have concentrated on viewing exhibitions and museums where we can observe something new. This time, we went to the Franz Kafka Museum which is situated in a courtyard with an unusual fountain.

The fountain depicts two life-sized male figures urinating into a pond which is shaped like the outline of the Czech Republic. You’ll get the idea here:

I cannot imagine such a feature in Britain – it would be regarded as offensive. And such a piece of art in the United States would probably be viewed as so anti-patriotic as to be almost an act of terrorism.

But the Czechs have a wonderfully irreverent sense of humour.


  • David Eden

    The Tea Party and their ilk may consider it unpatriotic, but in 1989, the U.S. Supreme Court decided in favor of the rights of Gregory Johnson, who had been convicted of violating a Texas law by burning a U.S. Flag.
    So unpatriotic or not, a similar work of art would be protected under the First Amendment right to free speech, in the U.S. Constitution.
    There are countries where laws to protect the flag, royalty, etc. carry fines and/or prison sentences. You might want to look at entries on Lese-majeste & Flag desecration in Wikipedia.

  • Roger Darlington

    Good points, David.

    Of course, just because a structure is legal does mean that it will happen or survive. I think a fountain like the Prague one would be physically attacked in many parts of the USA.

    Thailand is one country where one can break the law by insulting the monarch – an example of lese-majeste.


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