For the second time in a few weeks, activists climbed a ladder to the statue of Jošt in Brno’s Moravské náměstí because they did not like the placement of the Ukrainian flag on the shield.
Sunday’s action, which took place as part of an unannounced gathering of several dozen people, ended with three people being detained. The Moravian eagle is now on the statue, but the Ukrainian flag, which was torn down, will not be returned to the statue for the time being, according to the municipality.
“At this time, the flag will not be flown again,” Brno City Hall spokesperson Filip Poňuchálek confirmed.
Last week, the blue and yellow Ukrainian colors were replaced by the Moravian symbol on the occasion of two national holidays. The flag of the state invaded by Russia was returned to Jošt, but this did not please the group of people who gathered at the statue on Sunday afternoon.
“They wanted to show their disapproval. I said that I would try to create conditions for them to express their opinion, that I could try to mediate communication with the city leadership, and I explained the situation with the flag change. They told me their goal was to climb the statue and tear down the Ukrainian flag. I warned them that in that case, I would have to ask the police to intervene, ” Petr Štika, secretary of the Brno City Hall, who was on the scene, described the situation.
“They debated for a while, then brought a ladder and tried to lean it against the statue. I warned them to stop, which didn’t help, so I asked the police to intervene. Before that, however, the event convener managed to climb the statue, pull down the Ukrainian flag and raise the Moravian flag. The police then detained him along with several others. The other participants were unusually aggressive and tried to push the police out. Still, they did a very professional job, and when the detainees were taken away, the situation calmed down,” the secretary added.
None of the protesters took into account the opinion of the statue’s author, Jaroslav Róna.
“The Brno municipality mainly confirms the consent to the flag, and I am commenting on it from the point of view of copyright law. Given that I consider Russia a totalitarian aggressor, potentially dangerous to us and the whole world, I naturally agree with the flag on the statue,” Róna wrote to Právo about the placement of the Ukrainian flag.
The three people arrested at Sunday’s event will probably end up in the misdemeanor commission, although it is possible that their actions could be considered a crime of damaging property.