According to the Prague Daily Monitor, the Ztohoven artistic group has cut the Czech presidential flag into 1152 pieces and added Bitcoin value to each piece. The flag which was taken from the Prague Castle, the seat of the Czech heads of state, was replaced on September 19, 2015, with a giant pair of red boxer shorts in protest against bureaucratic manipulation and tyrannical behavior.
The Ztohoven artistic group’s hilarious performance last year involved members of the organization dressed up as chimney sweepers, and the group replaced the Czech head of state flag with red boxer shorts. At the time it was said that the flag had just flown away with the wind, but it turns out the group had kept it for a demonstration. The flag has been cut into 1152 fragments with cryptocurrency attached anywhere between five to 1500 crowns and will be given away randomly to citizens this coming Monday. The protest is an act to show the world how Czech citizens are disgusted with Miloš Zeman’s behavior in office. Zeman’s spokesman Jiri Ovcacek has condemned the act of cutting the flag into pieces and believes the protest was uncalled for. The Ztohoven artistic group said in response:
“We fight for the decentralization of power that must be achieved by a gradual emancipation process in a never-ending struggle with the monstrous tendencies to control our lives.”
Ztohoven member Petr Zilka told the Prague Daily Monitor they would be distributing the cut pieces of flag remnants across the entire country. The group’s statement reveals they consider the flag a sign of centralized power and a tyrannical post-monarchist symbol which will soon be a historical relic. Ztohoven has attached 35,000 crowns worth of Bitcoin to the flag which is an estimate of the flag’s value according to Czech courts. The Prague Daily Monitor details that a CTK correspondent was given two pieces of the flag worth roughly 13 and 16 crowns in bitcoins. Zilka said the flag was “a standard synthetic fabric” and wasn’t an original or had meaningful ties to it and was just another reason Ztohoven decided to cut it to shreds. Zeman’s spokesman, Jiri Ovcacek, compared the act to murdering a Czech tradition stating:
“In this case it is the murder of a Czech statehood symbol,”
However, Ovcacek explains the Presidential Office will not be addressing the issue officially. Despite this Ovcacek believes they stole something quite valuable with the flag being worth 33,000 crowns and the flagpole and other damages consisted of 100,000 crowns of vandalism. Three artists were charged with rioting, vandalism, and malicious intent by the courts but found little evidence against the Ztohoven members to sentence them. The case is now back in the hands of Czech police.
The artistic group has been in trouble with law enforcement before for their activism with this being one of the most widely known performances of protest. The first publicized protest that made headlines was a false nuclear explosion shown on a Czech Television weather report station during the month of June 2007. Years later the group returned with new identities using falsified IDs which was also an act of protest showing how easy identification manipulation is in the Czech region. Alongside all this drama the group has also hosted art shows featuring politicians’ phone numbers and addresses at a local art exhibit in Prague. The latest cutting of the Czech head of state’s flag and applying Bitcoin worth to the remnants is the most recent artistic act of protest, showing the group’s appreciation for decentralization.
Source: CTK, and the Prague Daily Monitor
Images: Ztohoven, Pixabay