VERSAILLES, France (AP) — Vandals have spray-painted a controversial Anish Kapoor sculpture in the garden of the palace of Versailles outside Paris.
The 70-meter (230-foot) red metal work named “Dirty Corner” — which resembles a gaping cavern and had been dubbed the “vagina of the queen” by some French media — was sprayed Wednesday with yellow paint.
In a statement Friday, the 61-year-old Kapoor put the blame for the defacing on right-wing intolerance, saying the installation “has seemingly given offence to certain people of the extreme political right-wing in France.”
He said the vandalism “represents a certain intolerance that is appearing in France about art. The problem seems to be political.”
Two local officials have lodged formal complaints against the work, part of an exhibition that opened June 9 and runs until November, saying it degrades a national monument.
Kapoor, who inspected the Versailles site Friday, said he was considering keeping the yellow markings as artistic statement of what he has called “the dirty politics of exclusion, marginalization, elitism, racism, Islamophobia.”
“Does the political violence of the vandalism make ‘Dirty Corner’ ‘dirtier’?” he asked in the statement.
But workers were later seen partly cleaning the sculpture.
Last year in Paris, a controversial inflatable sculpture by U.S. artist Paul McCarthy called “Tree” was vandalized and deflated during an installation on Place Vendome after conservative French critics decried the sculpture on social media as evoking a giant sex toy.
Culture Minister Fleur Pellerin had criticized the “Tree” vandalism, calling it “a serious attack on the principle of artistic freedom.”
That vandalism came as tensions were high in France over a 2013 law legalizing gay marriage.
Thomas Adamson can be followed at Twitter.com/ThomasAdamsonAP
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