The art provocateur Ztohoven group cut a giant Pac-Man into Babiš’s rapeseed field. “Let’s stop playing his game”, they said.
May 22 is not only the anniversary of the Pac-man video game’s first release but also International Biodiversity Day. Thus, the controversial art group Ztohoven justified why they chose this date for their 11th act.
The group became famous for their artistically motivated pranks, including an atomic explosion live on Czech Television and hanging red boxer shorts on Prague Castle. This time, they targeted Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babiš.
A rapeseed field at the foot of Mount Říp in the Litoměřice region, which is managed by Babiš’s company Agrofert, belongs to its trust fund. Members of Ztohoven cut the yellow character in the field, which gives the name to the previously mentioned video game.
According to the group, Pac-man cannot deal with individuals who “refuse to share the playing field with him”, and is supposed to represent Babiš himself, who similarly never has enough. “Pac-Man ate subsidies and he also managed to perfectly eat concepts such as capitalism or socialism, which are now freely confused,” they said.
The Prime Minister also polarized Czech society and destroyed the local ecosystem with his rapeseed fields, leaving behind only a monocultural toxic desert, according to the artists. “In social life, it eliminates culture, individual freedoms, the diversity of the business environment and the ability to solve crisis situations without the intervention of a central planner,” added the Ztohoven group.
“I don’t want to comment on the motives of the creators, but it’s amazing how far some people are able to go. They unequivocally committed a crime in which foreign property was damaged in the order of hundreds of thousands of crowns. We condemn such conduct. It is up to the police to investigate the matter,” said Agrofert spokesman Karel Hanzelka.
He also added that Czech farmers grow rapeseeds on approximately sixteen percent of domestic arable land and that of all rapeseeds grown in the Czech Republic, only five percent is accounted for by Agrofert’s agricultural companies. “If we draw some agricultural subsidies for cultivated land, we have them exactly the same as all other farmers in the Czech Republic,” Hanzelka said.
The incident is currently being investigated by the police. According to them, the Ztohoven group caused damage to over CZK 350,000 with their performance.