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A Big MacKerfuffle...

Violent religious protest in Israel over an artwork of a crucified Ronald McDonald


Link Here 15th January 2019
A McJesus Sculpture Has Provoked Violent Protests in Israel. The gallery is now fending off government censorship as well as the artist's own request to remove the work in solidarity with a pro-Palestinian boycott of Israel.

Jani Leinonen's McJesus (2015) has become the subject of violent protests at Israel's Haifa Museum of Art.  the Rev. Archimandrite Agapious Abu Sa'ada of the Greek Melkite Catholic Archeparchy of Acre told Haaretz:

We denounce the exhibition and the injury to the holiest symbol of Christianity by an institution that is supposed to serve citizens of all religions,

Hundreds of Arab Christians were on hand Friday to protest the controversial work, while police mobilized to prevent them from entering the museum and removing the work by force. Three policemen were injured by protesters throwing stones, while officers Officers, meanwhile, used tear gas and stun grenades to clear the crowd, according to the Independent .

The demonstration followed a letter on Thursday from Israeli culture minister Miri Regev calling for the work to be removed and threatening to revoke the museum's government funding.

McJesus was installed in September as part of the exhibition Sacred Good, which looks at religion and faith through the lens of consumerism. The museum describes the piece as a way to address the collaboration between religious systems and the consumer culture.

So far, the museum has refused to take the work off display, instead meeting with church leaders and officials from the Haifa Municipality and determining that the most appropriate response to is to hang a sign at the exhibition entrance warning visitors of potentially offensive content.

 

 

America's low self esteem...

LA school authority to destroy artwork over a vague similarity to the Rising Sun flag of Imperial Japan


Link Here 18th December 2018
Beau Stanton's mural of Ava Gardner adorns the Robert F. Kennedy Community School in LA's Koreatown. The mural is an homage to the famed Cocoanut Grove nightclub which stood nearby, and depicts the Old Hollywood film star in profile, palm trees and moorish architecture overlaid on her face. Behind her head, alternating rays of blue and orange in a sunburst pattern.

Last month, the Wilshire Community Coalition sent a letter to the Los Angeles Unified School District requesting that the mural be censored. The group ludicrously claimed that the pattern was too similar to the Rising Sun Flag of Imperial Japan, a symbol loaded with pain and trauma for the Korean-American community that they likened it to the Swastika of German Nazism. The group wrote:

This work is extremely offensive and threatening to many survivors, descendants and community stakeholders who stand in absolute opposition of the Japanese Imperialism, Racism, ethnic hatred and crimes against humanity committed by the military aggression during the World War II

 
  Let's hope these easily offended Koreans never  going shopping in the UK

In response to their request, the LAUSD agreed to paint over the mural during winter break.

Los Angeles Times art critic Christopher Knight issued a scathing rebuke to the decision calling it deplorable. An innocent artist is being smeared as a promoter of hate speech, Knight wrote, his work unfairly attacked for something it is not. He went on to detail the ways in which the mural differed from the Rising Sun Flag, from the number of rays -- 44 vs 32 -- to the colors used, and the myriad sources in which similar motifs can be found. Deceptive claims have been weaponized to shut down free speech, he concluded. The school mural is not the scandal; LAUSD's imminent censorship is.

 

 

Cat calls...

Chichester Council censors street art


Link Here 2nd December 2018
The King of Cats mural by street artist Joachim has been censored by Chichester District Council after residents whinged that the painting was 'inappropriate' and attracting antisocial behaviour.

The black-and-white cat, which stood about 18-foot-high, was painted by the Belgian street artist in October 2017.

62 residents signed a petition calling for the King of Cats to be removed. One complainant said the nightmarish cat had attracted additional graffiti within two days, while another described the artwork as vandalism, according to a list of complaints published in Chichester Observer, which were submitted to the council in October and November 2017. The petition letter claimed that the cat has drug connotations in its design.

Following the mural's removal, Joachim was inundated with messages of support from the Chichester community, asking him to come back to their city, according to Graffiti Street.  So Joachim went back to the same spot and painted another black-and-white mural -- The Watchdog.

 

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