Anti-Semitic phrases have been spray-painted onto a provocative sculpture by British-Indian artist Anish Kapoor in the gardens of the palace of Versailles.
It’s the second time the artwork, a 70-meter (230-foot) metallic cavern called “Dirty Corner,” has been vandalized. It was spray-painted in June, and targeted again Sunday. France has seen rising concerns about anti-Semitism in recent years.
Culture Minister Fleur Pellerin called the new vandalism “ignominious” and says it shows a “fascist vision of culture.” She said in a statement that authorities would pursue the perpetrators.
But, according to The Times of Israel, Kapoor told the daily Le Figaro he would not restore the work as he did the first time, and instead would keep the “abominable words” as part of the sculpture.
“I had already questioned the wisdom of cleaning it after the first vandalism. This time, I am convinced that nothing should be removed from these slurs, from these words which belong to anti-Semitism that we’d rather forget,” Kapoor said.
“From now on, in the name of our universal principles, these abominable words will become part of my work, they will overlay it and stigmatize it.”
The sculpture prompted controversy when it was installed, for its style, its incongruity with the traditional glamour of Versailles and because Kapoor told a French newspaper it suggests an intimate part of “the queen (Marie Antoinette).”
It is on display through November.