Controversial ′queen′s vagina′ sculpture vandalized in Versailles | Arts | DW | 07.09.2015
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Controversial 'queen's vagina' sculpture vandalized in Versailles

A controversial sculpture by Artist Anish Kapoor in the gardens of the Palace of Versailles has been vandalized with anti-Semitic slogans. It's the second time the work, dubbed the "queen's vagina," has been defaced.

The gardens of Versailles have seen more than their share of scandal and intrigue. Now a sculpture by British-Indian artist Anish Kapoor, officially titled "Dirty Corner," has been vandalized for a second time on Sunday (06.09.2015), however this time with more sinister themes.

The anti-Semitic diatribes, painted in white paint, proclaim: "SS blood sacrifice," "Queen sacrificed, twice insulted" and "Christ is king in Versailles," and President Francois Hollande was quick to condemn the act as "hateful and anti-Semitic."

The Culture Minister Fleur Pellerin echoed Hollande's concerns, calling the graffiti "an act which reveals a fascist vision of art" following inspection of the damage, and labeling it an "attack on freedom of creation."

The 60-meter-long and 10-meter-high sculpture was first unveiled in June, as part of a wider exhibition of Kapoor's work in both the gardens and palace. The exhibition is scheduled to run until November. Other contemporary exhibitions at the historic site have included works by Jeff Koons and Takashi Murakami.

The attack on the rock and steel sculpture comes after an earlier one in June, after which the artwork was restored. However, Kapoor says this time the graffiti won't be removed, telling the "Le Figaro" newspaper: "From now on, in the name of our universal principles, these abominable words will become part of my work; they will overlay it and stigmatize it."

The sculpture's controversial nickname arose out of his description of the work as "the vagina of a queen who is taking power." The graffiti follows the vandalism of Paul McCarthy's divisive "Tree" sculpture at Place Vendome in Paris in October 2014, which some said resembled a sex toy. The work was later removed by the artist.

According to the AFP news agency, a source close to the police investigation has commented that the perpetrators were most likely "individuals with ultra-conservative leanings" and the investigation is ongoing.

Kapoor is one of the most acclaimed and decorated sculptors of his generation, and was knighted by Queen Elizabeth in 2013 for his service to the arts.

jgt/kbm (AFP, AP)

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