“A public work of art by German artist Thomas Demand, undertaken in collaboration with London-based architectural firm Caruso St John, has been rejected after the far right Swiss People’s Party (SVP) launched a petition against it, saying it was a waste of taxpayers’ money.”
“A referendum was ordered and the citizens of Zurich voted against the SFr5.9m (€4.3m) project, entitled Nagelhaus [Nail House], a Chinese-style pavilion that was due to be transformed into a restaurant in Escher Wyss Platz in Zurich. The project narrowly lost out on the vote, with 51% rejecting it. Turnout was 35% and the difference between the two sides was only 2,000 votes.
“The people of Zurich are fed up with the absurd waste of money by the city council,” the SVP said in a statement published after the ballot. The party had campaigned with a poster depicting a golden toilet, stating “5.9m für e Schiissi! Nagelhaus Nein” [SFr5.9m for a toilet bowl! No to Nail House]. The motif referred to the fact that a public toilet was part of the proposal. Mauro Tuena, the head of the SVP in the city council, said that Nagelhaus would “give dreamers the possibility of self-fulfillment at the expense of taxpayers”.