Prague, Czech Republic – Missed them? Well, the David Cerny’s eerie TV Tower babies are back in Prague!
After being removed in October 2017 for cleaning and restoration, the infamous sculptures of faceless babies are back in place: last week, operators of the Zizkov TV Tower started installing the ten sculptures right back where they belong, crawling up and down the tallest – and arguably ugliest – building in Prague.
But don’t be fooled by their resemblance with the old ones: the ten original sculptures were reportedly handed back to their creator, Czech artist David Černý, and replaced with new ones with a different internal structure and anchoring system.
According to the agreement signed between České Radiokomunikace, operator of the Žižkov tower, and David Černý, the creepy babies are due to stay for at least the next twenty years.
The sculptures of these faceless babies were originally placed on the tower, the tallest building in Prague at 216 meters high, in 2000 as part of a temporary installation. Due to popular support, as residents saw in the babies a way to warm up to the unloved tower, they earned a permanent seat on the Žižkov tower the following year.
Often compared to a rocket launch pad, the Žižkov TV tower was – and still is – widely criticized for its futuristic design, which many people say clashes with the rest of the city. At the time of construction, residents were critical that a Jewish cemetery had to be largely destroyed as part of the construction work.
Many locals also believed the tower, built in the last year of the communist regime, was meant to jam foreign broadcasts, instead of providing clearer signals. It was famously named the second ugliest building in the world in 2009 by the Virtualtourist.com travel website (after the Morris A. Mechanic Theatre in Baltimore, United States).
Controversial artist David Černý, known for his defiant public art, became famous in the early 1990’s for painting in bright pink colour Prague’s Monument to Soviet Tank Crews, still considered a national monument back then, a feat he was briefly arrested for. His other famous contributions to Prague’s architectural and urban landscape include a sculpture of Freud hanging from a rooftop, a rotating Kafka head and a statue of Saint Wenceslas rising a horse upside down in the Lucerna Passage. He also built and designed a famous bus stop in in the North Bohemian city of Liberec.