Anish Kapoor’s ‘Dirty Corner’ Vandalized for the Third Time in Versailles

Will the attacks on the artwork ever stop?

Detail of Dirty Corner Photo: Stephane de Sakutin via AFP
Detail of Dirty Corner
Photo: Stephane de Sakutin via AFP

On Sunday, the palace’s management discovered phrases including “SS blood sacrifice,” “the second RAPE of the nation by DEVIANT JEWISH activism,” and “Christ is King in Versailles,” written in French across the sculpture and surrounding rocks.

Kapoor—who back in June expressed his disappointment about the first attack on his piece—surprised the international media when he decided to keep the slogans, which French President François Hollande, who met with the British artist on Tuesday, called “hateful and anti-Semitic.”

 

Kapoor’s bold decision, however, could land him in court. On Tuesday, Fabien Bouglé, Councillor of Versailles, filed a complaint with the local public prosecutor against the artist and Catherine Pégard, President of Versailles, for “inciting racial hatred, public insults, and complicity in these crimes.”

French President François Hollande met with artist Anish Kapoor at the Elysée palace in Paris on September 8 2015 Photo; AFP/Alain Jocard via Le Parisien

French President François Hollande met with artist Anish Kapoor at the Elysée palace in Paris on September 8, 2015
Photo; AFP/Alain Jocard via Le Parisien

“I had already questioned the wisdom of cleaning it after the first vandalism,” Kapoor told Le Figaro. “This time, I am convinced that nothing should be removed from these slurs, from these words which belong to antisemitism that we’d rather forget.”

The French Minister of Culture, Fleur Pellerin, said she would respect the choice of the artist and that the public debates surrounding Kapoor’s decision were “extremely interesting and raise the question of creative freedom.” Panels to explain the events have been installed next to the work.

People look at the grafitti inscribed artwork by British-Indian artist Anish Kapoor entitled <em>Dirty Corner</em> in the gardens of the Chateau de Versailles in Versailles on September 11, 2015, a day after the artwork was emblazoned with grafitti for a third time. Courtesy of Versailles Patrick Kovarik/AFP/Getty Images)

People look at the grafitti inscribed artwork by British-Indian artist Anish Kapoor entitled Dirty Corner in the gardens of the Chateau de Versailles in Versailles on September 11, 2015, a day after the artwork was emblazoned with grafitti for a third time. Courtesy of Versailles Patrick Kovarik/AFP/Getty Images)

The management of Versailles came under fire for failing to provide effective security. Le Figaro reports that officials have emphasized the difficulty of controlling the 200-hectare park and assured that security would be fortified. Besides police patrols at night and camera surveillance, security was enhanced on Sunday by guard dogs. 

Since it was installed in the gardens of Versailles in early June, Dirty Corner—a work that originally dates from 2011—hasn’t ceased to make headlines, for all the wrong reasons.

Unknown vandals splattered yellow paint on Kapoor's Dirty Corner (2011). Photo: @ walkergarden via Instagram.

Unknown vandals splattered yellow paint on Kapoor’s Dirty Corner (2011) in June.
Photo: @ walkergarden via Instagram.

The massive flared steel tube, which faces the famous palace, caused a huge controversy after Kapoor reportedly described it as a symbol of “the vagina of the queen who took power.”

Kapoor backtracked shortly after, but the controversy had been sparked. The piece was dubbed “the queen’s vagina,” and the first vandalism followed a few days after.

Related stories:

French Politician Attacks Anish Kapoor After a Decision To Keep Versailles Vandalism

Anish Kapoor Refuses to Remove Vandals’ Anti-Semitic Slogans from Versailles Sculpture

Anish Kapoor Claims Vandalization of His Versailles Sculpture Was Politically Motivated


Anish Kapoor Deeply Saddened by Vandalization of “Vagina Sculpture” at Versailles

Anish Kapoor Joins Instagram With a Telling Handle


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