In this work painted for Christiansborg, Merete Barker depicts the Colosseum in Rome, which was the framework for bloody battles between gladiators, and where slaves fought wild animals and each other for the entertainment of the emperor and the Roman people – with death as the frequent outcome. Fortunately, things never go to such extremes in this 'arena', or the Chamber of Parliament, next door. While it is true that the waves can run high here, politicians battle only with words and the force of argument is all that counts. Merete Barker unites an abstract and expressive idiom in this work. Author: Lisbeth Bonde, M.A and art critic. Photographer: Torben Eskerod.