Italian Artist Makes Monument To England’s Soccer Failures

$900,000 Monument To England’s Football Failure


If you enjoy laughing at the England football team — calling all Germans and Scots — and you have a spare $900,000, then Sotheby’s has the very thing for you.The auction house is offering an untitled work by Italian sculptor Maurizio Cattelan that chronicles — in painstaking and painful detail if you are English — every defeat suffered by the England team between 1874 and 1998. Cattelan has carved all the defeats into a large (and it would have to be, wouldn’t it?) piece of black granite, meaning the lucky buyer can be constantly reminded of a succession of ignominious afternoons and evenings.

The artist says of his memorial stone-style work simply: “I guess it’s a piece which talks about pride, missed opportunities and death.”Known for his humorous and satirical art, Cattelan had plenty to work with as he recorded defeats starting with a 2-1 loss to Scotland in Glasgow in 1874 and ending with another 2-1 setback against Romania at the 1998 World Cup.

I’ll admit this is funny. That is easy to admit because I am not from England. If I was English though then this work of art would just depress me. The English are known for having a good sense of humor but I bet this monument would just cut them to the core. After all, the English take a lot of pride in their soccer and to see their failures they known all too much about succinctly summed up on a slab of granite might just be too much for them to take. The worst part is that the sculptor is Italian. It’s like getting laughed at by your more successful brother. And it’s not even like they can shut him up anytime soon. There are four years between every World Cup and the English have a lot of ground to make up. The current English roster looks young and talented but, judging by their performances in the past few international tournaments, who knows if they will put it all together.


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