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  • Writer's picture Kester Eddy

A Pope (John Paul II), A Prime Minister (József Antall) and ... Who, Exactly?

Updated: Dec 10, 2020

KesterTester 17 - Hungarian Parliament, August, 1991 - Updated

A different KesterTester this week: not a where? Not a what? - but a who?

I found this rather forgotten (and not very good print) among others of a similar ilk in a box a week or two back, and was going to send an electronic copy to someone and then thought it a much better idea to make it a Tester.

Of course, Pope John Paul II is easily recognisable. So too, for many in here, the late Prime Minister József Antall, who led the first democratic government in Hungary after the transition from 1990 to late 1993 before his untimely death, 17 years ago this month.

(For those that don't know - that's him on the right.)

To be honest, I don't know who the two gentlemen are a little behind and on the flanks of his Holiness (bonus points if you can name them), but just WHO is that tall chappie lurking behind Karol Wojtyła? (No, it isn't his bodyguard.)

Rules Change: The KesterTester Competition Committee has decided that, because of time zone differences, it is unfair on American, Asian and indeed Antipodean competitors that the first correct response is declared the week's winner, and that henceforth all correct answers should be put into a hat and the first name to be drawn out declared the winner.

I would like to thank the Committee for their time and wise deliberations in making this ruling, which will, of course, have international implications, assisting as it will in promoting Hungary and central Europe to the world, spreading global peace, harmony and sportsmanship and opening the KesterTester to millions of potential Japanese, Chinese and Korean readers (as opposed to, er, well, about none right now).

Note - Due to time limitations today, I'll post the winner of KT 16, last week's brutal sculpture, tomorrow.

UPDATE - The answers and winner of last week's challenge - KesterTester16.

I must say, it's amazing how these photos so often lead onto different and/or deeper aspects of the subject from readers. I suppose it's a reflection of the people you all are.

The photo in KT16 depicted part of a memorial to the Hungarian members of the International Brigades which fought for the Republican side in the Spanish Civil War.

Of course, these volunteers were supposedly fighting for the democratic government of Spain - George Orwell certainly thought so originally = but the Hungarian contingent included a certain Ernő Gerő, who was a communist and KGB agent (and a party leader in Hungary in the Rákosi era). Gerő had about as much love of democracy as Generalissimo Franco himself. But back to the competition.

Mike Carlson got the theme correctly, but thought it was in City Park. As Greg Dorey quickly informed me, it used to stand in what is now known as Honvéd tér, in front of the Defence Ministry. Annabel Barber of the Blue Guides, added that there is now a Gulag memorial in the same spot (I shall have to look next time I'm there).

Bob Dent added that it used to be called Néphadsereg tér, which saved me having to look it up, although I think by 1992 when I took this pic that square had been renamed.

Then, amazingly, David Kirkby swooped in to say it's a work by a certain Agamemnon Makrisz. He knew this because he bought his first flat in the Castle district from Agamemnon's widow, Zizi - and the basement to this building was the sculptor's workshop. "When we first moved into TU3, the cave basement still had a lot of his trial pieces and materials and a huge furnace," he tells me. Much of this was later removed to create a museum in Greece, but the furnace remained was sitll there when the Kirkby's moved out, having meanwhile given for a memorial (plaque, I suppose) to be fixed to the street front facade, which he assumes is still there. I'll look out for it next time I'm there, David!

Anyway, here for all to see is the full photo of the memorial when it was in its original location. (Sorry about the grafitti - I don't like to see such things on memorials to the dead regardless of political leanings.)

Now, who is the acclaimed winner?

David thought his would be such a good answer that it would bring him victory, fame and adulation, plus the right to buy me a case of furmint. (It was only two beers originally, David, but if you insist ....)

Alas, according to the KesterTester rules and regulations applicable at the time, it was the first correct answer to be received, and Mr Kirkby's was not the first (but I'll still accept the furmint, David, graciously :) ).

The winner, with an answer within 10 minutes or so of publication was Hubert "Detective Poiret" Warsmann (once again)!

Hubert, I don't know how you can find the time to do any shopping these days, what with all the TV stations wanting interviews for your repeated successes in the KesterTesters, not to mention the fans asking for autographs and selfies on the street. Life as a celeb must be tough for you now, I'm sure.

OK. Have a good week and get studying the Pope's shadows. Answer in KT18 next week - although I'm not sure what that will be just yet.

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