Ramat Gan art museum shuts its doors due to feud over controversial painting

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The Ramat Gan Museum closed on Wednesday. Almost all the artists on display there demanded that their art be removed at a show in support of fellow creators whose paintings seemed to offend the ultra-Orthodox.

The Ramat Gan Museum near Tel Aviv caused a firestorm in the art world last month when it demolished a painting by artist David Reeve at the request of Mayor Carmelsha Maha Cohen.

Reeve’s painting shows two images of an ultra-Orthodox man praying on the Wailing Wall. The common phrase for the capital, “Jerusalem of gold,” is written in Hebrew next to one of the images, and next to the other image is the word “Jerusalem of shit.”

In response to the removal, almost all of the 50 other artists exhibiting the work said they would like the work to be pulled unless the painting is restored.

Negotiations to find a compromise failed, the museum said in a statement “sadness and disappointment over the consequences of the mediation process between the artist and the representative of the city of Ramatogan.”

All events and presentations scheduled for the near future will be canceled and refunds will be given to those who purchase the ticket.

Tel Aviv צדקושופטים גםבתלאביב! היצירההמבזהלאתוצגבר “ג.

Posted by כרמלשאמההכהן on Thursday, December 30, 2021

“A decision will be made in the next few days about the museum’s next move,” said the gallery.

A statement on behalf of the protesting artist accused the municipality and the gallery’s governing board of “not accepting a compromise by the artist’s representative.”

“It’s clear that the exhibition no longer exists and is no longer legitimate,” said the artist, as 45 of the 50 creators on display in the gallery requested the removal of the work.

“We all want a better future for museums and the world of art and culture, without the intervention of political hierarchy in content and expert decisions,” the artist said.

The city of Ramat Gan said in a statement that it would not give in to “an attempt to blackmail by removing the work.”

The city hall said the museum would consider other projects and “embark on a new, enhanced and more attractive path” within a few months.

Reeve’s paintings and paintings by other artists were part of an exhibition entitled “Institutional Critique”, according to the museum’s website. It is also the main victim. “

After the museum opened the exhibition, Mayor Shama Hakoen posted a photo of Reeve’s artwork on Facebook and asked the public if it should be removed or kept on display. The painting was later withdrawn by the museum at the request of Shama Hakoen.

Ramat Gan Mayor Carmel Shama-Hacohen will attend a meeting for the newly elected mayor and head of the local council on November 27, 2018 in Ashkelon. (Flash90)

On the contrary, about 40 artists on display in the museum covered their work with a black cloth. Shama Hakoen then instructed the museum staff to remove the cloth. This caused an angry dispute with the artist.

A Tel Aviv court dismissed a request from Reeve and the Israeli Civil Rights Association to resume the exhibition of paintings.

Shama-Hacohen said the court’s ruling showed that maintaining “human dignity” invalidated the “utopian idea of ​​complete and infinite freedom of expression.”

However, the judge warned that the content could be considered offensive and urged the museum to reach a compromise that would allow the artwork to be displayed in a secluded space. rice field.

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