Place Vendôme Hosts Giant Inflatable Buttplug
Ruth Bender reports: Not everyone in Paris appears to like contemporary art.
A massive, green, inflatable installation by U.S. artist Paul McCarthy was vandalized in central Paris in the night from Friday to Saturday, according to a police official, after the piece of art entitled “Tree” sparked outrage.
The artwork, set up last week on the famous Place Vendôme, ignited a wave of comments on social media for its resemblance to a sex toy. It attracted even more attention after the Los Angeles artist—known for his sometimes controversial and provocative work—was attacked by a person in the street Thursday as “Tree” was being set up on the square.
“Art has all its place on the streets of Paris and no one can hunt it away,”
— Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo, in a tweet condemning the attack
According to French daily Le Monde, a man approached Mr. McCarthy as he was watching “Tree” being blown up and hit him in the face three times. According to the paper, which was interviewing the artist during the incident, the man shouted at Mr. McCarthy that “he wasn’t French” and that his artwork had “nothing to do in this square.”
A spokeswoman for Mr. McCarthy didn’t respond to requests for comment. The police official said no complaint had been filed on such an incident.
In the night from Friday to Saturday, a group of individuals cut through the cords that were holding up the artwork, the police official said. A person in charge of overseeing “Tree” then deflated it to limit any damage, the official said. Read the rest of this entry »
US Secretary of State John Kerry held talks with French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius on Tuesday before the latest claims emerged in Le Monde
The US National Security Agency has spied on French diplomats in Washington and at the UN, according to the latest claims in Le Monde newspaper.
NSA internal memos obtained by Le Monde detailed the use of a sophisticated surveillance programme, known as Genie. Read the rest of this entry »