The Palace of Versailles, in France, is currently the sight of an international controversy.
The Palace, once the home of prestigious French royalty, is now the temporary home to some of Murakami’s bizarre artwork, contemporary pieces that many French citizens are complaining is ruining the legendary nature of Versailles and more or less making a mockery of the home itself.
As this post from the Independent details,
Prince Charles-Emmanuel de Bourbon-Parme, a descendant of Louis XIV, has tried to have the show banned. “This new, controversial art will lose the reputation Versailles has as the cultural window of France,” he said.
“We also have to worry about disillusioned visitors who have come from the other side of the world, only to discover that at the heart of the universe of Louis XIV there is a clown-like exhibition.”
This sounds like it’s a big deal, and Murakami is quoted in that article as stating “Even when someone scores a goal [in football], someone is going to be unhappy,” he said. He respects the different opinions about his work, he said, “just as long as an extremist doesn’t attack me physically.”, so he doesn’t really take the threats and anger all that seriously, it would appear.
Obviously some higher-ups in the French government thought this would be a good idea, combining the refined sensibilites of the Palace of Versailles and the irreverent art of Murakami…but perhaps they miscalculated the public’s general reaction?
Japan Probe posted this news clip chronicling this saga, including some interviews with concerned onlookers and citizens:
What do you think? Should this really be this much of a big deal?