Anish Kapoor’s controversial sculpture in Versailles named Dirty Corner has been attacked once again. The 70-meter (230-foot) sculpture located in the gardens of France’s palace of Versailles was definitely made to stand out and attract much attention, some of it being the ‘’not wanted’’ kind of attention. Following its installation in June, the art piece was splattered with yellow paint which was cleaned soon after the incident. This time the vandalizing act didn’t include only scribbling and splattering of paint, but clear messages of hatred aimed towards the Jewish population. The author has decided against cleaning the anti-Semitic slogans so it would bear witness to the pervasive nature of prejudice.
Controversy Attracted Vandals
Queen’s Vagina at Versailles
Officially named Dirty Corner, this grand sculpture is made of steel and rock, 60 meters long and 10 meters high. Informally it bares the name Queen’s Vagina, or as the creator described it himself “the vagina of the queen coming into power”. The piece faces the royal chateau and reportedly it attracts five million tourists a year. Something of this magnitude is certain to attract more than a few unsatisfied viewers, and was perhaps even composed to raise many eyebrows and stir controversy. The creator is known for his boldness to step into the controversial aspect of art, and he was recently our artist of the week. The creator’s statements didn’t quite stick to his previous, somewhat outrageous description involving the queen’s vagina, as he later on stepped back from it and said that the point of the piece was to create a dialogue between the great gardens and the sculptures. But still, the image of the mentioned comparison remains stuck in the viewer’s mind as soon as it’s heard and witnessed.
Bold Statements and Actions
Attack on Freedom and Human Dignity
France has the biggest Jewish community in Europe and these sorts of anti-Semitic messages simply cannot be tolerated. French Minister of Culture Fleur Pellerin condemned the incident in Versailles by saying that an attack of the artist’s work is an attack of the universal values of culture which are freedom and human dignity, she further described the act as a fascist vision of culture. Prime minister Manuel Valls expressed deep disgust with the incident and he added that the responsible persons would be severely punished. The art piece was covered with slurs such as “Queen sacrificed, twice insulted” , “Christ is king in Versailles”, “the second rape of the nation by deviant Jewish activism” and other hateful comments.
Authorities Disgusted with the Incident
A Reminder that Anti-Semitism is Still Present
Even though it is not clear in what way the anti-Semitic messages could be directly connected to the artwork, similar incidents to this one have been on the rise in the recent years in France. With his artwork being vandalized again, Kapoor decided to keep the abominable slogans as they serve as a reminder of the still-present anti-Semitism which we would rather forget. The vandalized sculpture will remain on display in the gardens of Versailles through November.
All images used for illustrative purposes only
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