The British sculptor Anish Kapoor fresh from his walk of solidarity with artist/dissident Ai Weiwei in London, has stated that he will begin to transform his vandalised sculpture Dirty Corner today, as part of a new “artistic intervention”. Vandals had painted a series of slogans, some of them anti-Semitic, on the cavernous piece and surrounding rocks on display at the Palace of Versailles outside Paris.
The work was daubed with a number of slogans including “Christ is King in Versailles” and “disgust, dishonour, treason, Satanism”, these were painted on the controversial work which remains on show until 1 November. Palace of Versailles officials said in a statement issued 18 September that “[the sculpture], which was recently vandalised, will be subject in the coming days to an intervention to hide the damage, under the artist’s supervision.”
In the latest events surrounding the work, a court in Versailles has ruled this weekend that the anti-Semitic graffiti be removed immediately after Fabien Bouglé, a local right-wing councillor, filed a complaint with the public prosecutor against the artist and Catherine Pégard, the president of Versailles. Bouglé took legal action against the pair for “inciting racial hatred, public insults, and complicity in these crimes”. An accusation levelled because the graffiti was left in place for all to see.
Kapoor’s controversial 60-metre long work has been attacked three times. The large sculpture was first damaged in June when vandals splashed the piece with yellow paint. then only a few days later, the work was defaced again when the phrase “Respect Art as U Trust God” was painted in pink on the towering piece.
“From my perspective, this [the court decision] is a triumph for the racists. The right thing is to carry on,” Kapoor stated to The Art Newspaper. “We will start working on Monday [21 September]; this will be an act of transformation which turns the nastiness into something else. I want something active, not reactive.” The artist added that President François Hollande backs his decision to leave the “marks of hatred” on view for the time being.
Photo: P A Black © 2015