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  • Writer's picture Kester Eddy

Red Ball, Brown Dog, Grey Day, Bronze Bust - Updated

Updated: Dec 13, 2020

KesterTester 18 - I had been struggling with what to post today. I had a super-hard one and a fairly easy one. And then ... well, I thought about this. I reckon this is mid-way.

What and where is it? The 1960 sculpture, I mean, not the doggy (but I'll buy the beer if you can name him too!)

Now I want some honesty here, please. Depending upon your personal interests, you might be able to identify the man honoured here - and then you could google where this is. I'm sorry, but that last bit would be cheating.

No googling, please. This one has to be your authentic, observed knowledge.

I'll give you a clue.

OK, since it's Christmas, three - make that FOUR clues! (I am far too easy on you. No wonder I never win.)

1) I bet 99% of readers who live in Budapest have been within 50 metres of this bust, even if you haven't noticed it.

2) The man depicted (yes, it's a bloke) is not Hungarian, even if ...

3) ... he was born within five minutes walking distance from the Hungarian border - at the time.

4) He worked for a Hungarian or perhaps two at different times.

Right, over to you. Answer with next week's KesterTester. I will delay posting the answer to last week's (that's the man lurkining behind the Pope) until Sunday, for reasons that will become obvious at that time.

Have a good weekend!

NOW - here is the UPDATE you've all been waiting for!

The Answers to KesterTester17 - and who is that man lurking behind the Holy Father? I must say that the number entrants for this exceeded my expectations by some way. In total there were 16 or 17 competitors, of whom a full 13 named the lurker correctly. (And it isn't Sir John Birch, Alan, sorry!)

Several identified the man to the right of the Pope, and one (I hope*) the other to the left as we look on. So, the main culprit in this competition, the man behind Karol Józef Wojtyła, is none other than Géza Jeszenszky, then Minister of Foreign Affairs in the Antall government. Well, as per the new rules, I wrote the names of all correct entrants onto a piece of paper, cut them up in equal sizes and in the presence of a Competition Committee member ie me, closed my eyes and pulled the winning entry out of my wooly hat. (I am negotiating television rights for broadcasting the KesterTester draw live, but please understand this takes time and hard bargaining.) And ….. drum roll please ….... the next person to feel the full weight of public acclaim, to be mobbed on her next walk to the shops is …........ Amy Modly, currently in New York, I believe, who wrote on Saturday, Dec 8: “The chap behind His Holiness looks like Geza Jeszenszky to me.” I hope you can cope with the fame, Amy, and I await the chance to award you the valuable winning prize, ie you buy me two beers :) Special mention must be made of Szabolcs Kerék-Bárczy, economist and author, who idenified not only Minister Jeszenszky, but also, on the right, István Balsai, Minister of Justice, and the more elusive András Gálszécsy, Minister without Portfolio in charge of the secret services. Well done Szabolcs, who wins a consolation prize, ie he can buy me three beers next time we meet :) By the way, István Balsai will appear later on this blog in a chapter of the Tales of a Teenage Spy series – and he will not appear in a very good light. Mr Balsai is definitely not someone I admire. I should also note, by way of respect, that yesterday was the anniversary of the death of Prime Minister József Antall, who passed on the 12th December, 1993 after a battle with cancer. Finally, there is yet another twist to this story: when I happened upon the original photo of this Tester, I was intending to send a copy to Geza when I realised that in a fortnight or so my review of his latest book would be coming out on line. So, I switched to using this photo for a KesterTester in order to be able to give you a link to the review of "Lost Prestige - Hungary's Changing Image in Britain, 1894 – 1918", which went live about an hour ago.

(I've had to update this link as - would you believe it - the BBJ launched it's new website about three hours after I put the link up for the old one.)

And yes, I do think this book would make an excellent Christmas present for anyone who ponders the history and current affairs of Hungary and the region. * And finally, I do worry there was a second person who attempted to name the man on the left, but I couldn't find that email – I'm terribly sorry if I've not given an entrant their due here - the number of entrants was quite overwhelming, and I've introduce a new logging system to ensure I don't miss anyone in future.

Have a good week and don't forget this week's Tester, the Bronze Bust above - global fame may yet await you!

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