by: J. A. Tillmann
(…) In accordance with the aforementioned concept, the square of the Parliament has also been restored into its state of 1940, and renamed the „Main Square of the Nation” recently. It is now also adorned with the replicas of earlier monuments of questionable politicians. The setting of historical kitsch is not only reconstructed but also further developed and expanded. Not far from the Parliament, on Szabadság tér (the so–called Liberty Square), a new structure named the Monument of Occupation is to be erected and inaugurated on the anniversary of the day when the country was invaded by the troops of the Third Reich – an ally otherwise –. In fact, after the invasion of the Wehrmacht, Miklós Horthy, the head of state at that time, stayed in power and continued as the “Imperial Regent” of the country, and was regarded as “Hitler’s last satellite”.
The monument is problematic not only because, as formulated by Jochen Gerz, it is “a reflection of the society”, but “it reminds the society of the past and its own response to the past – and in this case, the latter is the most disturbing.” As a work of art, it is just as embarrassing as it is inept as a monument. With a tympanum and classical columns in the background, it portrays an angelic figure who is being attacked by a large bird. The broken row of columns, as well as the figure of the angel – Archangel Gabriel – are similar to the monument on the Heroes’ Square. In this case, Gabriel symbolises the surrendered, innocent and vulnerable Nation of the Magyars, and the bird is the imperial eagle of the evil. It is in fact a very “primitive allegory”. As the art historian András Rényi noted, so primitive that it can be interpreted even by the “simplest child of the folk”.