Exhibitions Controversies News Italy

Chapman Brothers' explicit work removed from show

Sculpture showing two naked girls taken down after complaints from children’s rights group

The Chapman Brothers' Piggyback, 1997, was exhibited in Maxxi’s collection display “Remembering Is Not Enough,” installed last December and due to run until the end of September. Photo: Jake and Dinos Chapman

Less than a week after Jake Chapman’s provocative comments in the British media that bringing children to art galleries is a “total waste of time”, the Maxxi museum in Rome has removed a work by the Chapman Brothers in response to a complaint from a children’s rights group.

The Italian Observatory for the Rights of Minors said in a statement that it lobbied the country’s culture minister, Dario Franceschini, on behalf of visitors concerned about the work Piggyback, 1997. The sculpture, which shows two naked girls, one with a penis protruding from her mouth, was part of a 2010 bequest from the collector Claudia Gian Ferrari. It was exhibited in Maxxi’s collection display “Remembering Is Not Enough,” installed last December and due to run until the end of September.

According to a statement released on 9 August, the museum had placed warning signs at its ticket office and information point to inform families of the work’s explicit content. “Crudeness is part of the Chapman brothers’ work… and we strongly believe in and support artists’ freedom of expression,” said the director of Maxxi’s art programmes, Anna Mattirolo. She said that the work was taken down “a few days” ahead of a planned rehang.

The president of the observatory, Antonio Marziale, expressed disappointment at the “partial solution”. “We do not want to attack artistic freedom of expression but avoid promoting depictions with a clearly paedo-pornographic context behind the screen of art,” he said.

More from The Art Newspaper

Comments

13 Aug 14
17:49 CET

HENKJAN VAN VLIET, AMSTERDAM

No kidding! Let all children learn to kill people in video games :)

Submit a comment

All comments are moderated. If you would like your comment to be approved, please use your real name, not a pseudonym. We ask for your email address in case we wish to contact you - it will not be made public and we do not use it for any other purpose.

Email*
 
Name*
 
City*
 
Comment*
 

Want to write a longer comment to this article? Email letters@theartnewspaper.com

 

Share this