South Africa: Art destroyed and censored at University of Cape Town

The following blog was written by Gabriel Clark-Brown, publisher and editor of the South African Art Times, owner of the South African Print Gallery in Cape Town, and graduate of the University of Cape Town with a Master’s Degree in Fine Art. The views expressed and research presented in this blog are those of the […]

Ukraine: Art exhibition suffered multiple threats and attacks

More than a dozen masked men stormed into the Visual Culture Research Centre (VCRC) on 7 February 2017, vandalized Davyd Chychkan’s ‘The Lost Opportunity’ exhibition and beat a security guard at the venue in Ukrainian capital Kiev, reported Polish network Political Critique on 8 February 2017. VCRC reported on its Facebook page that just a […]

United Kingdom: Paintings stolen and vandalised; death threats received

Artist Russell Haines and members of the clergy of Gloucester Cathedral received anonymous death threats and accusations of blasphemy after several of Haines’ paintings, which were part of an exhibition held in the cathedral portraying people from a wide range of religious beliefs, were stolen or vandalised, reported The Guardian on 12 February 2017. Haines […]

India: Art exhibition vandalised, artist attacked

On 8 December 2016, right-wing activists from two different groups stormed the fourth annual Jaipur Art Summit, damaged paintings, attacked and injured a painter, and stole a painting in protest of it featuring semi-nude women, reported India Today on 8 December 2016. “It happened so fast. Painting is your heart, it is your baby. It […]

Sweden: Outdoor sculpture partly burned down

Around a quarter of Lars Vilks’ large outdoor sculpture in the Kullaberg nature reserve in southwest Sweden was burned down in an incident police suspect to be arson, reported Afton Bladet on 24 November 2016. The artwork, entitled ‘Nimis’, consists of a series of wooden sculptures made out of 75 tonnes of driftwood and is […]

Iran: Art gallery owning couple held in detention since July without charge

In late July 2016, Islamic Revolutionary Guards detained art gallery owners Afarin Niasari and her Iranian-American husband Karan Vafadari at the Tehran airport, where they were arrested and taken to Iran’s infamous Evin Prison, reported International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran on 2 December 2016. The couple have been held without charge or access […]

Turkey: Seven members of Grup Yorum arrested

Turkish police arrested seven members of famous folk band Grup Yorum on 23 November 2016 on charges of assault, resisting and insulting police, and being members of a terrorist group, reported Birgün on 24 November 2016. Grup Yorum’s lawyer Aytaç Ünsal told the Turkish newspaper: Even 3 days after they were initially taken into custody, […]

France: Art installation defaced by Turkish MP assistant

A 1,000-photo-collage art installation at the Council of Europe (CoE) headquarters in Strasbourg, France, was defaced by the parliamentary assistant of a Turkish member of the Assembly when they sliced off the “edited and toned down” version of the infamous Danish Prophet Muhammad cartoon, reported The Malta Independent on 14 October 2016. Norbert Francis Attard, […]

Turkey: Local man smashes “obscene” sculpture

A wooden sculpture by Amancio Gonzalez Andres entitled ‘Musician’ featured at the Izmirspor metro station in western Turkey was smashed by a local man who called the statue “obscene”, Hurriyet News reported on 27 May 2016. Sculptor Andres told Birgün newspaper on 27 May 2016 he condemned the attack on his art piece and that […]

Nigeria: Artists’ Village demolished

On 23 January 2016 the Artists’ Village at the National Arts Theatre in Lagos was demolished on the orders of the theatre’s management, reported news portal allAfrica.com. Artists said demolition began at around five o’clock in the morning under the supervision of the theatre’s general manager Kabiru Yusuf who was guarded by a team of […]

North Korea: House-to-house searches to confiscate banned music

The North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has issued a decree demanding the destruction of tapes and CDs that could threaten the regime, reported Daily NK. Concerned about possible threats to his regime, the North Korean leader has reportedly ordered music censorship to be extended, banning not only foreign songs but local tunes too, sources inside […]

Syria: ISIL burns music instruments of ‘Peace Ambassador’ artist

On 17 April 2015, Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) burnt the musical instruments of the young Palestinian pianist Ayham Al Ahmad, reported Syria Live Network. Ayham Al Ahmad is well-known for his music expressing the tragedies of the Syrian war, which he has performed amid the devastated buildings in the Yarmouk Palestinian […]

Iraq: UNESCO alarmed over mass destruction of books in Mosul

UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova expresses alarm over reports of the massive destruction of books in the museums, libraries and universities of Mosul in Iraq. According to numerous media reports, thousands of books on philosophy, law, science and poetry have been deliberately burned over the past several weeks. If confirmed, this would be one of the […]

Syria: Musicians punished for playing ‘un-Islamic’ instruments

In Bujaq, a few miles to the east of Aleppo in Syria, the ISIS religious police is reported to have beaten up four young men for playing music using socalled ‘un-Islamic’ instruments such as a keyboard and lute, reported Daily Mail. Images posted on a popular file sharing site showed ISIS policemen hitting the young […]

India: Publishers under pressure to withdraw contentious books

“Freedom of speech shrinks in the world’s largest democracy,” reported AFP from New Delhi. “At least one crucial pillar of its democratic edifice – the right to free expression – is being rapidly eroded, with ominous implications.” Amy Kazmin Penguin India, an arm of one of the world’s biggest publishers, the US-based Penguin Random House, […]

USA: Musician’s instruments confiscated and destroyed in airport

Flute player Boujemaa Razgui had his 11 flutes taken from him and destroyed by Customs at JFK Airport in New York. A Canadian citizen, based in New York and with a green card employment permit, Boujemaa Razgui, was flying home from Marrakech, Morocco, when his baggage was opened by Customs at JFK. Boujemaa Razgui told […]

China: Provocative artists intimidated with seizures and imprisonment

Issue 34 of the German magazine Der Spiegel contains a long article about how authorities in China allegedly intimidate provocative artists with tax laws, seizures, and imprisonment as tools to repress dissident voices. The article is primarily based on interviews with two gallery owners and the 30-year-old artist Zhao Zhao who has been Ai Weiwei’s […]

Macedonia: Work of art destroyed for offending religious feelings

The organisers of a festival in Skopje allegedly destroyed a work of art which was already on display on a street-billboard, claiming that it hurt religious feelings, reported Harald Schenker of BalkanInsight The organisers of the festival which is held under the auspices of the City of Skopje decided to remove a billboard i.e. tear into bits […]

Tunisia: Artists under attack

Art pieces at the ‘Printemps des Arts’ fair in Tunis have caused public outrage for being ‘blasphemous’ and offensive to Islam. The artists involved have received death threats and their works at the art fair were destroyed. The Minister of Culture condemned the artworks, which in return caused an uproar in the Tunisian arts community. […]

 

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