The San Francisco Board of Education voted this week to cover up a suite of controversial 1930's murals at George Washington High School, reversing an earlier decision to spend $600,000 to destroy them by painting them over.
The murals, The Life of Washington , were created by the Russian emigre artist Victor Arnautoff as part of a New Deal art initiative and depict episodes from the life of George Washington. A few people have been offended by three of the 13
murals in the cycle for including depictions of enslaved African-Americans working at Washington's Mount Vernon property, and also violent images of Native Americans.
In Tuesday's vote, the board members voted 4--3 in favor of covering up the murals, frustrating both those who'd campaigned for outright destruction, and those who'd campaigned for their preservation.
While it is a step in the right direction to take permanent destruction off the table, we will continue to strongly oppose spending $815,000 to permanently wall off the murals so nobody has the choice to see them or learn from them, said Jon
Golinger, the executive director of the Coalition to Protect Public Art, an organization created to advocate for the murals' preservation, to the New York Times .
A section of a major art festival, Aichi Triennale 2019, in central Japan featuring a statue symbolizing wartime comfort women shut down on Saturday following protests, the organizer said.
The protesters were taking easy offence at the Statue of a Girl of Peace . This depicted a Korean comfort women, or ianfu in Japanese. The term is a euphemism for the women, including Koreans, who provided sex, generally against their
will, for Japanese troops before and during World War II.
Aichi Gov. Hideaki Omura, who heads the organizing committee, told a news conference that there are growing worries about safely managing the Aichi Triennale 2019 as it had received a number of threatening emails, phone calls and faxes. One of
the faxes it received read: I will bring a gasoline container to the museum.
The statue of the girl was part of an exhibit in the art festival's section titled After Freedom of Expression? Most of the artwork on display in that section could not be displayed in Japan in the past due to censorship or
self-censorship, the exhibitor said.
Facebook has agreed to settle a years-long legal battle with a French teacher who sued after the social media giant shuttered his account when he posted a renowned 19th-century painting that features a woman's genitals.
The dispute dates to 2011, when the teacher, Frederic Durand, ran foul of Facebook's censorship of nude images after posting a link that include a thumbnail image of L'Origine du Monde (The Origin of the World), an 1866 painting by the
realist painter Gustave Courbet.
Durand argued that Facebook was infringing on his freedom of expression. He sought 20,000 euro in damages and initially won his case in a Paris court but a higher court overturned the ruling in March 2018.
Durand had been preparing an appeal, but in a statement to AFP, his lawyer Stephane Cottineau said a deal had been reached for Facebook to make an unspecified donation to a French street art association called Le MUR (The WALL).