I just returned from a short trip to Budapest, where I presented a talk at the Central European University. As you may know, this university faces being closed down by harsh regulations imposed by the right-wing Viktor Orbán, the prime minister who wants to make Hungary more ethnically homogeneous. You can see how to help here.
Orbán commissioned this monument, erected in 2014. The monument shows the archangel Gabriel (a metaphor for Hungary), who is besieged by the eagle that represents Germany. It is an attempt to whitewash Hungary's complicity in World War II, particularly their horrible treatment of Jews and Roma citizens. It was the Germans that made us do it, this monument says.
Spontaneously, people in Hungary put another monument up, composed of barbed wire, stones and pictures of Hungarian Jews killed during World War II. It also features Pictures of Sophie Scholl and Anne Frank, and messages such as "My mother was killed in Auschwitz, thanks "archangel" Gabriel". There are also stones with the names of deceased Jews and personal items they left behind (shoes in particular, a reference to one horrific episode where a large group of Jewish Hungarians were lined up in rows of 5 deep and shot down, row by row).
The monument is a great example how a piece of ugly art can be an integral part of a beautiful whole.