The Saatchi Gallery in London has censored works featuring an Islamic declaration of faith after complaints from Muslim visitors who claimed the artworks were blasphemous.
The Gallery is hosting an exhibition of new material by the artist SKU featuring a variety of works. However, it decided to censor the two 'offending' paintings that incorporated the text of the shahada, juxtaposed with images of a partially nude
women with the background of a stylised US flag .
SKU suggested that the works should remain on the gallery wall but be covered up with sheets. He told the Sunday Times that it seemed a respectful solution that enables a debate about freedom of expression versus the perceived right not to be
The Saatchi Gallery told the newspaper it fully supported freedom of artistic expression ...[BUT]... The gallery also recognises the sincerity of the complaints made against these works and supported the artist's decision to cover
them until the end of the exhibition.
Offsite Comment: We must have the right to blaspheme against Islam
The director of Poland's National Museum of Culture took it on himself to take down a classic 1975 artwork on the grounds that it might irritate sensitive young people.
Consumer Art or Body Art is a video by Natalia Lach-Lachowicz, who goes by the name Natalia LL, showing a bare-shouldered woman eating a banana in a rather suggestive fashion.
The director also removed was a 2005 video by Katarzyna Kozyra that showed a woman holding a leash attached to two men dressed as dogs on all fours. He explained:
Certain topics related to gender shouldn't be explicitly shown,
However the censorship by Museum Director Jerzy Miziolek was widely ridiculed. Many took to Instagram and other platforms to post photos of themselves eating bananas, including another prominent Polish artist, photographer Sylwia Kowalczyk, who
This should not happen to any artist, male or female, Kowalczyk told CNN . Natalia Lach-Lachowicz is one of the icons of the Polish contemporary art and has her place in art history already.
Hundreds of people also gathered to eat bananas outside Poland's national gallery in Warsaw on Monday to protest the censorship.
Responding to this public pressure Miziolek said that he would reinstate the Consumer Art exhibit -- but only for another week, when the museum begins a renovation project. Whether Consumer Art would return after the renovations are complete
Miziolek was appointed by the right-wing Law and Justice (PiS) government's Ministry of Culture. The ministry has consistently cut funding for the arts and fired arts staff who do not follow the party's line. However the ministry denied it was
involved in the decision to remove this artwork.
An art exhibit that aimed to spark conversation about violence against women by showing Barbie dolls being abused has been moved out of a shop window.
A few complaints were made about the collection, named Girls World , which were displayed in a Middlesbrough shopping centre in full view of children.
The work showed pictures of the children's toy being kicked by boyfriend Ken, giving birth to an unwanted child, and hanging herself from a tree. It was hoped the display, created by artist Lidia Lidia, would raise awareness of violence against
The exhibition was first put up on April 10 and was due to run for a fortnight before being removed from the front window on April 18. The exhibition has now been moved to the back of the gallery, in Middlesbrough, where it will remain until May
In a statement, Lidia Lidia thanked the co-directors of the Pineapple Black galler for showing the 'somewhat controversial piece and apologised to people who found her work uncomfortable. She added:
I am totally aware that my work is provocative and sometimes disturbing but I strongly believe that art nowadays is one of the most powerful tools for shaping a fair and equal society.