There are many statues and sculptures dotted around the city of Budapest. Most represent the famous deeds of real people. However, lurking amid lush green lilypads and cowering in the dismal brown waters of a public garden lies a very different sculpture than others found around the city. The statue immortalizes a key scene from a century-old local novel. This little fictional fellow, Ernö Nemecsek, has two statues in the city and even a plaque to commemorate his death.
The story of The Paul Street Boys by Ferenc Molnár was first published in 1906 and has become one of the most famous Hungarian novels in and outside the country.
What makes András Zsigó’s ceramic sculpture particularly unique is that it is hidden in the House of Victoria’s Amazon water lily pool, where the character of little Nemecsek hid from a rival gang in the novel. The rather dark, crouching figure of the young boy looks very sad as he peers out from the water, which is fitting considering the tragic ending Nemecsek meets in the novel.
Know Before You Go
You can find the statue by peering through the hothouse windows of the House of Victoria. It is the most southerly of the round greenhouses in the ELTE Botanical Gardens. Entrance for adults is currently 1200 forints, plus 300 forints if you want to take photos.
The greenhouse is currently closed, so you'll need to peer through the windows to see the statue.