Prague’s Žižkov Television Tower was left childless over the past 18 months with the removal of Czech artist David Černý’s popular “Babies” sculptures, but from this week Černý’s Babies are once again crawling up the sides of the tallest structure in Prague.
David Černý originally created the Babies (Miminka in Czech) sculptures in 1994, and they were erected up the sides of the Prague TV Tower in 2001 as part of the European City of Culture: Welcome to Praha 2000 event.
Intended as a temporary installation, the Babies proved so popular that they were left on the Tower for much of the subsequent two decades.
Prague TV Tower temporarily lost its Babies in October 2017 when they were removed for renovations that included cleaning and repainting.
But inspection of the sculptures revealed that it would be necessary to revise the way the Babies were attached to the TV Tower, and the decision was made to replace the original sculptures with identical duplicates.
“After a thorough examination of the condition of the original sculptures, we decided to produce new ones and at the same time we innovated the way they were anchored,” Vít Vážan, director of Prague TV Tower operator České Radiokomunikace, stated at the time.
“The original Babies were returned to David Černý.”
Since then, Černý’s original Babies have gone on a world tour; they’re currently on display in Palm Springs, California.
But last weekend, re-installation of the duplicate Babies sculptures were began at Prague’s TV Tower. Over several days, a team of climbers hoisted the Babies up the sides of the Tower and installed them at the original positions.
České Radiokomunikace will continue to conduct biannual inspections of Černý’s new Babies to monitor their installation.
According to an agreement between David Černý and České Radiokomunikace, the duplicate Babies will remain installed on Prague’s TV Tower for the next 20 years, after which they will be transferred to the company free of charge.