Seven Recent Statues In Budapest Worth Seeing

  • 11 Apr 2013 9:50 AM
Seven Recent Statues In Budapest Worth Seeing
Some of these statues may be new even for Aboriginal Budapesters. Nowadays there is a small specialist agency that assists anyone who would like to erect a new public artwork anywhere in Budapest. It’s called Budapest Gallery, and organizes design contests or issues expert opinions for Budapest City Council – the body that gives or denies permissions.

For those who are interested, there is a wonderful corpus of data at your disposal, a portal edited by unpaid volunteers. It started some years ago as szoborlap.hu (statue sheet), but last year was renamed kozterkep.hu (“public space map”), and covers not just Budapest, but all Greater Hungary (the country’s borders prior to the end of WWI). You can browse it on a map, according to artist or title. There are several photos attached to each entry. You can add photos, and even initiate a new entry.

The following statues were all erected in the last five years. All are well made pieces, fit for a public space. Most even belong to that obscure category called “contemporary art”. That term vaguely means that a statue reflects its own age, and makes us think every time we look at it. Some are simply nice – and stop tourists and induce them to take funny pictures with their partner included.

1. Scooter boy 2008 - This is a lovely statue, near the Pest end of Elisabeth bridge, by an artist called Boldi (full name: Boldizsár Szmrecsányi). At closer inspection one realizes that the boy is scrutinizing the sky, not the road ahead. And the vehicle is also an impossible construction… A statue ideally fit for outdoors placement.
(District V, corner of Duna utca and Váci utca.)

2. “Uncle Charlie” 2008 - Already a tourist favorite, it was modeled after the grandfather of the artist, András Illyés, who was indeed a policeman, and used to look like this, though he could only wear this particular helmet on public holidays. That’s a small liberty few people would mind, if they had known.
(District V, corner of Október 6 utca and Zrínyi utca.)

3. Sztehlo 2009 - Gabor Sztehlo was a Lutheran pastor who saved thousands of persecuted Jewish kids during the Holocaust, and later cared for the orphans among them. He was not exactly a favorite of the Communists, which is why this statue was erected so late. It represents a chef d’oeuvre of the great sculptor Tamás Vigh, and somehow manages to look very different from every angle. Take your time if you see it… (District V, Deák tér, near the church.)

4. Ronald Reagan 2011 - This is the second statue of the American president in Budapest. The first (a bust) was erected in City Park. This one is of bronze, and 2.2 meters high, so larger than life, like the man himself. He is shown walking towards the American Embassy. (By

5. The Very First Statue of Steve Jobs Ever 2011 - Graphisoft is a highly successful Hungarian IT company, which Steve Jobs had helped in its very early steps. That’s why founder Gábor Bojár was especially sad to hear the news of Jobs’ death. Within weeks a tender was organized, and the winning design, by Ernő Tóth was realized in two months. The text reads, “The only way to do great work is to love what you do...” It is in Graphisoft Park, a large group of high tech buildings, and a symbol of New Hungary. (District III, Záhony utca 7.)

6. Prayer for the Rebir th of Painting 2011 - This exceptionally subtle work of contemporary art was erected by donations from the Circle of Lovers of Painting and the Hungarian Jewish Association, on the site of what had been the National Salon. It commemorates a great showroom erected in 1907, pulled down in 1960. (By János Kalmár, in District V, Erzsébet tér, near Harmincad utca.)

7. Historica 2012 - This is the work of the Slovenian sculptor Andrej Gabrovec Gaberi, behind the Salt House building of Corvinus University. An almost totally identical artwork has been erected in several universities in the region. It is a poetic rendering of the contrast between masculine war efforts and feminine caring and love. (In District IX, Csarnok tér, a newly revamped square.)

By András Török, published on XpatLoop.com with the permission of AmCham's Voice Magazin

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