French anti-Semites attack ‘degenerate’ art


This 8 September 2015 video from France is about French anti-Semites vandalizing ‘degenerate’ art in Versailles.

Another video used to say about itself:

7 September 2015

Vandals have damaged British-Indian sculptor Anish Kapoor’s ‘queen’s vagina’ installation at the Palace of Versailles near Paris. The graffiti appeared on Sunday and is the second such attack on the sculpture in three months. A series of sentences, some of which were anti-Semitic, were painted on Kapoor’s 60-metre steel and rock abstract sculpture

One of the slogans daubed by the vandals was: ‘A Versailles le Christ est roy’ [In Versailles, Christ is king; archaic spelling]. This alludes to nostalgia to the seventeenth-eighteenth century fanatically Roman Catholic absolute monarchy. And it alludes to twentieth century fascist slogans. In Spain, the Guerilleros de Cristo Rey, the Warriors of Christ the King, were a pro-dictator Franco terrorist group. In Belgium, nazi leader Léon Degrelle called his party, in Latin, ‘Christus Rex’, abbreviated to ‘Rex’.

After Adolf Hitler’s attacks on ‘degenerate’ art … after the recent Swedish neo-nazi attacks on ‘degenerate’ art … now, France.

From daily The Guardian in Britain:

Anish Kapoor’s ‘queen’s vagina’ vandals and the rise of cultural fascism in France

The ‘abominable’ antisemitic slogans graffitied on Kapoor’s sculpture linked to peak in support for the far-right Front National

Anish Kapoor’s ‘queen’s vagina’ sculpture vandalised again

Kim Willsher

Tuesday 8 September 2015 10.44 BST

Even before Anish Kapoor’s installation at the Château de Versailles was vandalised this weekend for the second time there were concerns that France was in the grip of a wave of “cultural fascism”.

The contemporary work – officially called Dirty Corner but nicknamed the queen’s vagina – had already been defaced this June and was cleaned. This weekend it was daubed with antisemitic slogans, which Kapoor has said will remain on the work as a witness to hatred.

The perpetrators may be, as everyone agrees, a minority in a country that places a high value on cultural and artistic expression, as epitomised by the French l’exception culturelle, but the recent targets have been high profile.

Last October, vandals deflated a American sculptor Paul McCarthy’s massive sex toy-shaped sculpture at Place Vendôme, the epicenter of Parisian luxury. The damaged work was removed.

The vandalism is reminiscent of attacks on Daniel Buren’s black-and-white striped columns, Les Deux Plateaux, which were controversial when they were installed at the Palais Royal in 1985. They have since become part of the Paris cultural landscape, but when they were installed, antisemitic slogans including “Out Socialist Jewish columns” were pasted over walls around the site. Then Socialist Party culture minister, Jack Lang, was accused of supporting “Jewish art”.

Fabrice Bousteau, editor-in-chief of Beaux Arts magazine and a commissioner of contemporary art exhibitions, said that each time a contemporary work was vandalised it could be linked to peaks in support for the far-right Front National (FN) in France. “We saw this vandalism at the end of the 80s with Daniel Buren’s columns in the Palais Royal. These were also the object of antisemitic inscriptions … Buren was shocked, saying it was the first time he had seen such inscriptions since the second world war,” Bousteau told the Guardian.

“There is a minor faction of the French population that is fascist about culture and especially about what it considers to be degenerate art. Most French people are respectful of contemporary art, but these people see it as an expression of France’s degeneration.

“Anish Kapoor has said he will keep the inscriptions, and in the sense that his work is a sociological statement, he is right to do so.”

Bousteau added: “The Palais Royal, Place Vendôme, the Château de Versailles: these are symbolic places in the French republic. The vandals reject contemporary art, which they see as a loss of values. Listen to the FN and you realise its only view of culture centres on the conservation of heritage.

“And each time the vandalism is against a contemporary work in a symbolic place open to the public. It doesn’t happen in a museum.”

Kapoor’s giant steel and rock sculpture, on display in the Versailles gardens facing the palace and measuring 200 feet long and 33 feet high, is a huge funnel, which the 61-year-old artist has admitted is “very sexual”. Shortly after it was unveiled in June, it was splattered with yellow paint. This was subsequently cleaned off.

This week, French president François Hollande condemned the latest attack and the antisemitic slogans sprayed on the sculpture as “hateful”. Culture minister Fleur Pellerin said she was “angry and shocked”.

“This nauseating act constitutes a further step towards obscurantism. Art can stimulate debate, even shock, but should never be subject to destruction,” Pellerin said.

Bousteau added: “What is even more abhorrent about this vandalism is that the Château de Versailles was, at the time it was built, a contemporary experiment.”

“I’m very happy with the government’s reaction to this. As the minister said it is cultural fascism, and she is exactly right. It ties in with images we have seen recently of Daesch’s destruction of heritage in Syria. It’s a war of images.”

In June, the magazine InRocks wrote: “These attacks have nothing to do with aesthetic disagreements; they are part of a long political strategy by the extreme right in France. For a long time, the Front National and its satellites (the family associations, the newspaper Minute, various websites …) have made contemporary art their chosen target. This strategy is wide and varied and uses a large range of actions: complaints and legal actions, public protests, diatribes, caricatures and, finally, vandalism.”

Catherine Pégard, president of the Palace of Versailles, said she was “scandalised” by those who had defaced a work of art by a great international artist with “the most abominable references”. …

2014: The town fountain at Hayange, in Moselle, created by Alain Mila and featuring a rock and an egg-shaped form, was painted blue on the orders of the Front National mayor.

Anti-Semitic Brussels EU bureaucrat: here.

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