Vandals Spray Anti-Islamic Graffiti on Artist’s Installation in Dresden
“We have not swept the issue under the carpet,” artist Nezaket Ekici defiantly announced after unknown perpetrators vandalized her artwork with Islamophopic graffiti last week, DNN Online reports.
The artwork titled Post It (2015) was erected in front of Dresden’s State Courthouse and consists of 34 oriental carpets attached to a scaffolding.
According to Sächsishe Zeitung Ekici created the installation in memory of Marwa El-Sherbini, an Egyptian woman who was murdered in the courthouse in 2009. The work is intended to spur a dialogue on multiculturalism and the ramifications of hate crime.
Having been targeted by thieves and vandals in two separate incidents since its unveiling on May 20, Police removed the installation last week over public safety concerns. The work was subsequently re-installed several days later, after Ekici and curator Thomas Eller had criticized the removal.
Eller accused police of striking the wrong balance between the offense of incitement on the one hand and the copyrights and ownership claims of the artist on the other.
Ekici explained that she re-arranged the carpets to disguise the incendiary graffiti. “The work of art now has a history,” she told DNN Online. “We could not leave the slogan, because otherwise the offense of incitement would have remained.”
Dresden’s culture minister Ralf Lunau admitted that while the hateful graffiti was regrettable, the artwork fulfilled its purpose by confronting the city’s social structures. “It revealed a conflict that exists in our city’s society,” he said. The installation will remain on display as planned until July 5.
The eastern city of Dresden has been subject to racial and religious tensions and is the birthplace of Germany’s anti-Islam group Pegida (see Artist Protests Against Pegida—With a Beat-Up Car).
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