Group behind ice statue of Michael Jackson want permanent memorial in Prague

18-02-2010

The Czech Republic has been covered in snow and ice for over a month and many people are thoroughly tired of the weather here. But one group of Czech Michael Jackson fans have taken advantage of the freezing temperatures and have created an ice statue of the late pop singer. What’s more, they want a permanent memorial to Jackson built in Prague.

Prague’s Vítkov hill is best known for the National Memorial, a huge building dedicated to World War I legionnaires. Currently, though, it is also home to an ice sculpture of the late pop singer Michael Jackson. Professional sculptor Daniela Kartáková is from the group behind the statue, Project Heal the World.

“Around ten of us participated in the creation of the statue. There were a couple of professional sculptors who worked together with ordinary fans. The most time-consuming part was finding the ice. When we realised we’d need to have ice made we contacted a firm in Černošice, who very kindly gave it to us for free.”

The motivation for creating the Michael Jackson statue was a simple one, says Kartáková.

Daniela KartákováDaniela Kartáková “We think about Michael all the time, and one of the aims of our organisation and our activities is to bring people together. Here in the Czech Republic people have for a long time been separate from one another in social terms, people stay at home and are only interested in themselves and their family, people are envious…So our idea was to unite people by doing something together.”

The ice statue takes the form of a bust and is apparently meant to portray Jackson as he looked in 1996, when he performed at Prague’s Letná plain. Then the self-proclaimed King of Pop had a 35 foot tall statue temporarily erected on Letná, directly across the river from where he was staying at Hotel Intercontinental. Previously a statue of Stalin had stood in the same place.

Now, 14 years after he played in Prague and eight months after the singer’s death, Project Heal the World and the Czech Michael Jackson fanclub have plans for a permanent memorial to their hero in the Czech capital.

“There are different views of what the memorial to Michael should look like. One suggestion is a bust, because he liked things that looked official – he was the king, so we’d like to create something he himself would like. He’d be in one of his nice regal jackets on a column, like those that Roman victors stood on. He liked real quality, so it should be of some durable material, like bronze. But we won’t say where it should be erected until the project wins approval.”

18-02-2010