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18 June 2007, 12:22

Nuclear explosion on Czech breakfast television

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The site of the Krkonose Mountains in Bohemia disappearing in a nuclear explosion yesterday (Sunday) morning, may have had some viewers of Czech public television channel CT2's breakfast show choking on their cornflakes. Happily, this turned out to be a stunt by a group of artists known as Ztohoven. They broke via the internet into a camera / camera server which provided images from the Krkonose Mountains as part of the morning panorama program. Skiers will be familiar with similar TV content - alternating images of camera pans from skiing areas accompanied by snow reports and temperatures.

According to media reports, Ztohoven fed a 30 second film which showed images of an atomic explosion and the group's web address. According to initial investigations by the Czech authorities, the CT2 network itself was not affected, the compromised camera server was operated by an outside contractor.

The group of artists and its members have previously made their mark with controversial campaigns. One of their number, artist Roman Tyc made headlines in April by unscrewing pedestrian traffic lights and replacing the standing and walking men with figures lying down, peeing or drinking. The message - people should follow the examples of the traffic lights and leave their fixed positions.

The message behind yesterday's activity is not yet known. CT2 has apparently reported the matter to the police, and should someoneone be successfully prosecuted, a one year prison sentence could be imposed.

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