Kapoor faces dilemma as Versailles sculpture vandalised again

What should Anish Kapoor do? His monumental sculpture, Dirty Corner, installed in the gardens of the Palace of Versailles earlier this year has been vandalised for the second time.

In the past, yellow paint has been thrown over the rusty red 60 metre long, cavernous structure. In these latest attacks, the sculpture and the large rocks around it has been emblazoned with anti-Semitic graffiti. 

In an interview with Radio 4’s ‘Today’ programme, Kapoor, who has Jewish roots, said that he viewed this recent act of vandalism as “vile” and a “personal assault”.

But the artist is considering leaving the graffiti intact, unlike last time, when the yellow paint was cleaned off.

“My job as an artist is to attempt to fashion a work and put it in the world and allow it to have real space”, Kapoor said.

“I’m in the middle of making the decision – once I can extricate myself sufficiently from it – to leave the graffiti as part of the work… to turn what was always an act of affirmation into a lament to a state of intolerance.”

The decision is not an easy one, Kapoor continued. “To leave them there is quite an assault on the viewer.” He added that “It may be I have no choice – from a physical point of view it might not be able to be restored.”

The sculpture has already attracted controversy. Kapoor was misreported as describing the sculpture as the queen’s vagina, which he has repeatedly denied.

“The sculpture instead was titled ‘Dirty Corner’ to imply sexual and human ideas about a certain loss of dignity. What [leaving the graffiti] does is emphasis the dirtiness, the disregard for all humanity.”

We’ll keep you posted on his final decision.

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