Anish Kapoor Sculpture in Versailles has Been Vandalized for a Third Time !

September 11, 2015

Whether they support the work of Anish Kapoor or find it offensive vandals find it pretty convenient to leave messages on his controversial Dirty Corner sculpture which was vandalized for the third time in a short period of time. As you already know the sculpture was defaced previously in June with yellow paint splattered all around its interior, and a week ago when anti-Semitic messages were inscribed on its exterior surface. When the artist decided not to remove the writings new messages were seen, supporting his decision. But not everyone agrees with Anish Kapoor on the subject, as in recent turn of events the artist is sued for refusing to scrub-off hateful messages.

Kapoor's Instagram Comment on the Third Act of Vandalizm

Showing Respect for Art with Further Vandalism

So what happened this time? Apparently there were people who weren’t offended only by the racial content of recent slogans, but also the way they disrespectfully interacted with the artwork, ruining its aesthetic appeal. The defenders of art, therefore, left another message in large letters with pink paint. The last message says “Respect Art as U trust God”, referring to the earlier inscription “Christ is king in Versailles”. Although it is obviously done in support of Kapoor, we have to wonder if it is equally harmful in aesthetic terms. Dirty Corner sculpture is literally getting dirtier every single day, and security at the Palace of Versailles seems to be unable to stop further vandalism.

Anish Kapoor Versailles palace gardens 2015 june world paris exhibition culture
Respect Art as U Trust God, a message referring to this inscription of Christ as the king in Versailles

Anish Kapoor Getting Sued In the Latest Turn of Events

Except for the sculpture being vandalized, there is another twist in “queen’s vagina story”. Two days ago Anish Kapoor announced that Fabien Bouglé, Versailles municipal councilor filed a lawsuit against him and the president of Versailles palace, Catherine Pégard. Apparently, since the vandals who are responsible for anti-Semitic messages are nowhere to be found, Anish Kapoor himself will be the one responsible for their shameful acts. Although in various statements Kapoor strongly condemns the actions of these individuals, he decided to leave the slogans on the artwork as a reminder of intolerance and hatefulness in the society, counting on the power of art to generate different meanings in a new context. However, Fabien Bouglé had a different opinion on the subject and decided to sue, even though the French president François Hollande expressed his strong support for Kapoor’s decision from a pedagogical point of view.

Dirty Corner Versailles Vandalized palace gardens 2015 june world paris exhibition culture
Anish Kapoor and French President François Hollande. Photo via Guardian

Versailles Controversies

In the statement for the Guardian Anish Kapoor expresses the juxtaposed feelings he has about his sculpture, asking himself and the others what is the right thing to do? As Kapoor said: "It’s really violent, I want to get rid of it, but maybe this is what the work is asking for. Even if Versailles wants to clean it off it’s not their work. The work is called “Dirty Corner”, the piece seems to push something dirty, now we see dirty politics”. The public opinion seems to be divided as well, and who knows where is the end to this saga. Even though the messages are seriously dangerous in the context of racial hatred, adding up to some severe social and political issues in French society the question remains whether the artist is the one to be punished and the one to pay the price for the hateful and ignorant actions of others?

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