It is said that whoever touches the finger of Johann Wolfgang Kempelen’s statue receives an idea that can change the lives of people. At least that is what the legend claims, which has come to light only a few months since the unveiling of the statue of this great scholar and inventor in the garden of the Waterworks Museum in Bratislava.
“Kempelen was the Leonardo da Vinci of Bratislava; he was an artist, a designer, and a polyglot,” said Andrej Aleksiev, chairman of the FabrikArt civic association, on why they decided to remind citizens and visitors of Bratislava of this 18th century inventor, designer and thinker.
Today only a street in Bratislava’s borough of Karlová Ves recalls the prominent native of then Pressburg. In the past a street in the Old Town close to the place where he used to live bore his name. In 1945 this street was renamed Klemensova and has retained this name until today.
The life-size bronze statue of J. W. Kempelen is the first statue of this great thinker and inventor in Slovakia. Its creator, sculptor Robert Czingel, was inspired by the personality and topics to which Kempelen devoted his life.
“We chose a conservative approach,” said Czingel. “so that the final sculpture would not be about its creator but about Kempelen and his ideas.”
The result is a realistic statue of Kempelen, contemplating over the chess figures of the rook and the queen at his feet.
Read the rest of the rest of the article in The Slovak Spectator.