You’re go­ing to hear me roar

‘Queen’s vagina’ sculp­ture at Ver­sailles sprayed with paint

The China Post - - LIFE -

Van­dals have sprayed yel­low paint on a con­tro­ver­sial sculp­ture on dis­play in the gar­dens of France’s famed Palace of Ver­sailles that has be­come known as the “queen’s vagina.”

“Dam­age to the work ‘Dirty Cor­ner’ was dis­cov­ered Wed­nes­day morn­ing. It was lightly sprayed with paint. The work is be­ing cleaned,” the es­tate’s man­age­ment said.

The 60-me­ter-long, 10-me­ter­high steel-and-rock ab­stract sculp­ture by Bri­tish-In­dian sculp­tor Anish Kapoor, re­sem­bling a fun­nel in the form of an ori­fice, is set up in the gar­den aimed di­rectly at the royal chateau, which at­tracts five mil­lion tourists a year.

In­side the palace it­self is a smaller work — a cannon that fired red wax at white walls, sym­bol­iz­ing a phal­lus and an ejac­u­la­tion of blood.

Some French media out­lets have ex­pressed un­ease at the level of provo­ca­tion un­leashed by Kapoor who has de­scribed the piece as “the vagina of a queen who is tak­ing power.”

Kapoor, who hasn’t said which queen he had in mind when he cre­ated the piece, has ad­mit­ted that the work was “am­bi­tious” but said it was not so over-the-top as the scale of the op­u­lent Ver­sailles.

He later seemed to stepped away from his de­scrip­tion of the work as “the queen’s vagina,” but said he did not see why it was prob­lem­atic.

“The point is to cre­ate a di­a­logue be­tween these great gar­dens and the sculp­tures,” he told re­porters on June 5.

No one has claimed re­spon­si­bil­ity for van­dal­iz­ing the sculp­ture, nor were any com­plaints reg­is­tered.

In a state­ment, lo­cal of­fi­cials from the rul­ing So­cial­ist Party ex­pressed their “in­dig­na­tion” over the in­ci­dent, which they branded an at­tack against free­dom of ex­pres­sion.

It is “un­ac­cept­able that art, the com­pass of free­dom, suf­fer be­cause of the ob­scu­ran­tism of some peo­ple,” they added.

Kapoor’s ex­hi­bi­tion is one of the most con­tro­ver­sial at Ver­sailles since the author­i­ties in 2008 opened the palace and its grounds to con­tem­po­rary artists.

In 2008, Ver­sailles hosted works by the Amer­i­can artist Jeff Koons, and in 2010 by Ja­panese artist Takashi Mu­rakami.

In Oc­to­ber 2014, van­dals in Paris’s land­mark Ven­dome square de­flated a mas­sive sculp­ture by U.S. artist Paul McCarthy that was shaped like a sex toy.

McCarthy then de­cided to take down the work, which had both out­raged and tick­led Parisians.

AP

Chee­tah mother Freela re­laxes with two of her six ba­bies at the zoo in Er­furt, cen­tral Ger­many, Wed­nes­day, June 17. The chee­tah cubs were born on May 6.

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