Belgium ban on Saddam sculpture

A sculpture of a tied-up Saddam Hussein floating in a water tank has been banned by a Belgian mayor because it was deemed too controversial, says an official.

    The work depicts Saddam in underpants with his hands tied

    The sculpture by Czech artist David Cerny was to be displayed in the coastal town of Middelkerke during the Beaufort 2006 arts festival starting on 1 April.

    But Mayor Michel Landuyt banned display of the scuplture within the town limits fearing the reaction. 

    He said his decision was taken well before the eruption of a row over cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed first published in Denmark, which has escalated into violent demonstrations in a number of countries.

    "This work could shock people, not only from around here but tourists and potentially people of another faith, in particular Muslims," he told AFP. 

    Leo Coulier, secretary of the Middelkerke town hall, described the scupture as "controversial" and "potentially explosive".

    The sculpture, named "Shark", depicts Saddam Hussein in underpants with his hands tied behind his back in a shark-like pose.

    The piece apparently refers to a famous work by the British artist Damien Hirst, whose tiger shark in a glass tank of formaldehyde was nominated in 1991 for the Turner Prize, one of the most prestigious European art awards.

    The sculpture will now be exhibited in the Museum of Modern Art in the coastal city of Oostende, which plans to put it on display in April, a museum official said.

    SOURCE: Agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Interactive: Coding like a girl

    Interactive: Coding like a girl

    What obstacles do young women in technology have to overcome to achieve their dreams? Play this retro game to find out.

    Heron Gate mass eviction: 'We never expected this in Canada'

    Hundreds face mass eviction in Canada's capital

    About 150 homes in one of Ottawa's most diverse and affordable communities are expected to be torn down in coming months

    I remember the day … I designed the Nigerian flag

    I remember the day … I designed the Nigerian flag

    In 1959, a year before Nigeria's independence, a 23-year-old student helped colour the country's identity.