Sculpture installation delayed due to ‘fury’

The installation of a public sculpture in Copenhagen has been postponed over fears it could spark violent protests. The Draem (Danish Remembrance Armenian Empathy Messenger) commemorates the Armenian massacre and is described by its creator, the architect Allen Sayegh, as an “interactive sculpture” which responds to messages sent by the public through an app which transforms them into light and sound displays. “Erecting a nine-metre high statue in the heart of Copenhagen is yet another attempt to influence public opinion on the basis of a hostile narrative against the Turkish people,” the Turkish embassy said in a statement. On social media some Turkish groups had discussed staging demonstrations in protest against the work. The sculpture has “triggered some fury that might cause violence,” Armenia’s ambassador to Denmark wrote in a letter to Copenhagen’s mayor of culture, Christian Ebbesen. “I am sad about the decision to postpone the installation and I do not believe anything would have happened,“ Ebbesen told The Art Newspaper. Denmark is not officially using the term genocide to refer to the killing of Armenians by the Ottomans 100 years ago.