Czech artist takes replica of Prague’s iconic Lennon Wall to Paris

“Wall of Freedom and Energy”

The iconic Lennon Wall in Prague’s Kampa is one of the most visited sites in the Czech capital. Now a Czech artist has taken this symbol of resistance to Paris within celebrations of the Czech EU presidency.

“Wall of Freedom and Energy” | Photo: Kateřina Srbková,  Radio Prague International

People walking past the Pantheon in Paris on Thursday were treated to a surprising sight: an inflatable copy of Prague’s famous Lennon Wall with its most recent murals created by 27 artists from across the European Union and two special guests from Ukraine and Norway.

The man behind the project, titled “Wall of Freedom and Energy”, is Czech artist Pavel Štastný. Štastný says Prague’s Lennon Wall  - a symbol of resistance to oppression in the communist years – seemed like the perfect platform to portray the ideas and values uniting the EU in the present day.

Once the artists concluded their work on the Lennon Wall in Prague, it was photographed and printed on an inflatable wall of the same size (35 x 5 metres). The replica was earlier unveiled in front of the Palace of Europe in Strasbourg, and is now on display –for two days - at the Place du Panthéon, in Paris. Pavel Štastný says he added a special feature:

“You can walk through the wall, back and forth. It's really about the wall not separating us, but connecting us. In Prague, there's a mirror on the wall in which you see yourself. So you become part of the work of art".

Photo: Kateřina Srbková,  Radio Prague International

The project is also meant to highlight the EU motto "United in Diversity".

French artist Annaëlle Bouard, who took part in the project, says this is something that she herself addressed in her drawings.

Annaëlle Bouard | Photo: Kateřina Srbková,  Radio Prague International

“I wanted to portray love, cohesion and diversity. The picture shows people of different sexual orientations, genders and ages. I hope it radiates tenderness.”

According to Annaëlle, there is a big difference between the two walls. While the replica in Paris remains the same, the one in Prague is constantly changing and every passer-by can leave a new painting behind.

The replica on show in Paris stands next to the town hall of Paris' fifth arrondissement, headed by Mayor Florence Berthout.

"It is a beautiful tribute to the European Union from the Czech Republic, which currently holds the Presidency of the Council of the European Union. In addition, the location for it is perfect - we are here on Montagne Sainte-Geneviève, a place reflecting thought and freedom because the Sorbonne was founded here and the Pantheon is here. The Pantheon is the temple of the French Republic, it stands on three pillars: liberty, equality and fraternity,".

The artwork will remain on display until around 8pm CET on Friday when it will return to Prague before heading out to other European cities.

Authors: Daniela Lazarová , Martin Balucha
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