“Something is rotten in the state of Europe”
William Shakespear (Hamlet)
Europe’s current state of affairs can be best described by paraphrasing Shakespeare’s Hamlet anguished cry to his father’s ghost. In fact what is left of the great Pan-European movements of our fathers and grandfathers after two world wars: A bureaucratic administration without soul or faith, uniting an ever increasing number of states in which an increasing number of citizens cannot recognize themselves.
If the financial and economic support of Greece, the cradle of European and western civilization, and thus an essential part of Europe, creates an acrimonious debate in the richer parts of the Union, there is something rotten about European cooperation;
If a right-wing party can gain strength by agitating against immigrants, Muslims and Europeans combined, there is something very rotten with the identity of Europe;
If there is a large section of public opinion denying Russia its role in Europe, there is something rotten about the geographical and historical understanding of Europe.
Seen from China, the upcoming world power, Europe is a tiny spot on the map, without a definite identification. The little states constituting this non-identity are undistinguishable for Chinese eyes. And the political movements gaining strength in these tiny entities are proposing to retreat to even smaller entities, thus to total irrelevance. If this is considered progress then it should be compared to a march into Nirvana.
500 Years ago Europe reinvented the World. Coming at a time of political upheaval and economic distress, the Renaissance inaugurated a golden age for Europe and the Western world. It helped the creation of the modern, sovereign states, the emergence of a unified culture based on aesthetic beauty and the arts, the development of the human ideology for a woman to place all her faith in a man. It took the Chinese inventions and turned them into the weapons of its new scientific progress (just like China does it today in reverse) based on the Judeo-Christian concept of the “Laws of Nature” and promulgated by a supreme legislator.
What does this tell us for today’s Europe? You cannot build a political entity of common destiny based on the belly alone. We need to engage the soul and win-over spirits and hearts as well. We have to create a clear patriotic profile which people can easily understand and love, based on the best our continent has to offer, artistically, scientifically and spiritually; we need a new Conscience for Europe and a new perception of her to the world.
With the sculpture “The Abduction of Europe” I would like to start a European Conscience building alliance and hope that a great number of European citizens will join with their contributions.
The anomalous white wave on which Europe is riding represents the tumultuous history of our continent. It replaces godfather Zeus disguised as a white bull in the elder representations of the myth and represents an important element of Europe’s past and future, – the Seas. The seemingly fragile woman on the crest of the wave steers firmly towards the shores of a promised land, new Europe. The sculpture is irradiated by the multicolored light of a heavenly crystal, the image of our faith. For Dostoyevsky “Europe is terrible and sacred”. Let us do everything now to make it less terrible and more sacred for our children, masters of their destiny.
Anna Chromy 2010