Friday, December 30, 2005

Austrian Billboards depict Elizabeth II, Chirac, Bush Having Sex

(Scroll down for updates)

I haven't checked the Swedish papers lately, but when I toodled over to Svenska Dagbladet to find info on Cheap Monday jeans, I came across this interesting and "revealing" story: "Sexskyltarna togs ner i natt" ("Sex billboards taken down over night"). Here is my translation of the article:

The controversial billboards that showed Queen Elizabeth and European heads of state having sex together were taken down in the night.


Early this morning the billboards with Queen Elizabeth, President Jacque Chirac, and President Bush were taken down from streets in Vienna. Also a placard portraying a woman in only panties with an EU symbol was removed.

The signs threatened to become a painful matter for Austria, which now assumes the chairmanship of the EU. The chancellor of the Union Wolfgang Schuessel had appealed to the artists behind the works to have them taken down. The signs had received much criticism in the press and on television. They were regarded as sexist and pornographic and an embarrassment for Austria's chairmanship, which was inaugurated on Sunday.

The Spanish artist Carlos Aires, who is behind the work with Bush and Chirac, says that he received the vision of the three heads of state having sex with one another while everything around them collapses. Tanja Ostojic, who created the panty billboard, complained about what she called "the censorship of the general public".

But both went along with the idea that the works of art had to be taken down so that they didn't overshadow the 23 other works of art which were included in the same project.

Now I'll have to run over to Die Presse, Der Kurier, and maybe even Die Neue Kronenzeitung to get more info. Assuming the Kronen Zeitung hasn't changed since the late 1970's, it will probably have hi-res pictures of the billboards.

UPDATE: Die Presse has the panty poster here. You can see a reasonably good image of the Bush/Chirac/Elizabath sign here.

Die Presse and Der Kurier have slide-show like webapps that lets you browse the posters.

Der Kurier has the following headlines (my translations):