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  • Writer's picture Kester Eddy

The Controversial Stranger in Town - KesterTester101 - Updated

Updated: Aug 6, 2023

Anyone who happens on this bust – and I very much happened on it on Christmas Day in 2020 - is likely to be rather surprised as to who it commemorates and why it's here.

Photo: I'm not quite sure how famous the fellow is in his homeland. He was a controverisal figure, but made a certain substantial contribution to its culture, even though he lived far away from his country of birth for many years before returning (although, depending on how you define it, in one sense, never returned - at least I presume not).

It's been some weeks since the last tester - a first of its kind, because I won it, even if only accidentally! You may think it's because I've been partying with the winning beers* ever since, but no, just working and, in truth, unless I can find a missing box, I've got very few piccies left suitable for testers.

But then I stumbled again on this one. On first encounter, he's definitely an unusual subject, but after some research - he did have links to Hungary. However, the location of this bust does seem a bit random/obscure.

So, dear sleuthers, who is this fellow and where is he celebrated in Budapest?

Answers, please, either via the website system or an email.

If this proves tough, I'll post another clue or two next week.

*Incidentally, on the subject of beer, I've developed a penchant for Staropramen of late - it has a tang that I'd never noticed before that I find tasty.

UPDATE: Competitors and Winner! I must confess that even after three years I clearly don't realise the quality and variety of knowledge among this blog's high-quality readership. I expected I'd need to give more clues for this Tester – but no need – although some of the responses were a bit sloppy! For example, first in was György Drucker. Dear Kester, I guess he is Ahn Eak Tai. Best regards, Gyuri” Good to hear from you, Gyuri! But remember, the question was in two parts: “So, dear sleuthers, who is this fellow and where is he celebrated in Budapest?” Quickly on Gyuri's heels was Zsolt Maroti, who is fast becoming a super sleuth. Szia Kester, South Korean composer Ahn Eak Tai - the statue was inaugurated in 2012 in Varosliget. Zs” Not long later, Viktor Friedmann slalomed in.

Hi Kester, This is in Városliget, the statue of a South Korean composer, Ahn Eak-tai, who studied with Kodály in Budapest and is best known as the composer of the South Korean anthem. I hope all is well. Best, Viktor” It was very much rush hour for responses that Friday, another ten minutes and old hand John Cantwell came up with this: “Hi Kester, Ahn Eak-tai (Hungarian: An Ikthe, 5 December 1906 – 16 September 1965) was a South Korean classical composer and conductor. The building in the background was the give-away, as it looked like the Széchenyi Baths. The bust is indeed right nearby in Városliget.,19.07884,293m/data=!3m1!1e3?entry=ttu We then had a bit of a break, before ace-sleuth Tom Chilton proffered: Latest KT - I'm pretty sure the statue is in Városliget - I think you can see Széchenyi Baths in the background. Dunno who he is though.” Well, you could go and find out, Mr Chilton! I sense you are dizzy with sleuthing success and getting slack! Finally, Tibor Szendrei contributed: Isn’t this that Korean composer guy in Varosliget? Remember googling him while on a stroll with the grandkids. All well? Staropramen’s indeed a good choice:) Tibor” Yes, Tibor, this is that Korean composer guy – his name is (was) Ahn Eak-tai when anglicised, and he was born in what is now generally known as North Korea (hence, although he returned to the Republic of Korea (South Korea), he arguably didn't exactly return to his homeland.

Photo - uncropped. Since he studied in Budapest, it's understandable that Ahn Eak-tai is commemorated in the Hungarian capital - though why his bust is in this location I know not! And yes, he penned the new national anthem of South Korea, replacing the previous tune, which was that of the Scottish New Year's anthem Auld Lang's Ayne. (!) He was also (courtesy of his Wikipedia page) controversial because of his life when Korea was occupied by Japan and he conducted a pro-Japanese concert in celebration of the occupation of Manchuria. So – given this is a two-part tester, the KesterTester Competition Committee agreed to award the following numbers for the draw (one slip for one correct answer, two slips for the correct two answers). And, having cleared up the flat, means I found the famed EU-approved Black Woolly Hat for the draw once more! Gyuri # 1 Zsolt # 2 + # 7 Viktor # 3 + # 8 John # 4 + # 9 Tom # 5 Tibor # 6 So, into the hat they all go, a good stir, the television cameras talk up the event and the winner is …. number 1! That means global celebrity fame is coming to … and two beers for me from ... Gyuri Drucker! Prepare to be surrounded by selfie hunters next week, Gyuri – and congratulations! Thanks for all who had a go and have a good week everyone!

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