After Court Ruling Over Anti-Semitic Slogans Anish Kapoor Starts Work on his Sculpture in Versailles

Art News

September 21, 2015

When Anish Kapoor's sculpture at Palace of Versailles was vandalized, the artist decided not to scrub-off the hateful messages, but rather to leave them on as a warning about "the intolerance and racism in our midst". Although he was supported both by his fellow artists and France president Francois Hollande, not everybody agreed with his new exhibition concept and the artist was eventually sued for refusing to erase the graffiti. Now the official ruling is issued and the court ordered that disturbing slogans must be removed immediately. Anish Kapoor and Versailles officials began the transformation of the artwork today (September 21st, 2015) and the process will be completed in the next few days.

Here's what Anish Kapoor Says About the Ruling

Dirty Corner - The Recurrent Target of Vandals

As you may recall, Dirty Corner has been the target of vandals several times. Massive stone and still piece that represents "vagina of the queen taking power", was installed in the gardens of Versailles back in June, and was soon filled with yellow paint by the unknown perpetrators. Later on, the artwork was covered in racists and anti-semitic messages such as “Queen sacrificed, twice insulted”, “the second RAPE of the nation by DEVIANT JEWISH activism”, and “Christ is king in Versailles”. After the second attack Anish Kapoor refused to clean the offensive graffiti and decided that the slogans should stay on the artwork permanently, as a reminder of the perseverance of hate and intolerance throughout history. Since the racist and the anti-semits had their saying, the art's "defenders" decided to "join the party" and left “Respect Art as U trust God” message on the artwork. Though the act is obviously done in support of the artist, the large letters painted in pink additionally damaged his original work.

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The Vandals Painted on the Surrounding Stones as Well

The Versailles Court Ruling

The court ruling is a result of a suit filed by Fabien Bouglé, the local right-wing Councillor of Versailles. The charges were made against the artist and the president of The Château de Versailles, for “inciting racial hatred, public insults, and complicity in these crimes”. Apparently, by refusing to erase the abhorrent remarks, Anish Kapoor become an accomplice in a hate crime. Anish Kapoor was angered by the ruling stating in a conversation with The Art Newspaper that this decision "is a triumph for the racists" and adding that "the right thing is to carry on”.

Details from The Vandalized Artwork

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The Messages of Hate

Anish Kapoor to Transform the Sculpture

Despite the unfavorable court ruling it seems that Anish Kapoor is not giving up on the idea of commemorating the despicable events and the hatred they represent. He claims that the upcoming intervention "em>will be an act of transformation which turns the nastiness into something else." The intervention set to hide the damage, starts today (September 21st, 2015) and will be performed under the artist's constant supervision. What will happen to the sculpture remains to be seen in the following days. Dirty Corner and other artist's works will be on display at Palace of Versailles through November 1st, 2015.

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