British artist Anish Kapoor has come under fire after unveiling a massive “vagina” on the grounds of the Palace of Versailles, in France.
Kapoor, who called the installation “Dirty Corner” has defended his work, calling it the “vagina of the queen coming into power” during an interview. It has sparked controversy, being called “gross” by some, and the mayor of Versailles said Kapoor had, “slipped up”.
Speaking to LeJDD.com, Kapoor said: “Again sexual nature: the vagina of the Queen who took power. An ambitious project but not so excessive on the scale of Versailles.” His remarks were reported as a reference to Marie Antoinette, the Queen Consort of France who took residence at Versailles.
Kapoor continued, in what seemed to be an attack on Islamic radicalism and ISIS: “The general tone of my approach is dark, I admit. At the entrance of my studio, I pinned the page of a newspaper warning against the anti-Islam sentiment growing in England and elsewhere. When I see works of art and monuments reduced to dust by terrorists, a tragedy motivated by cynicism, I wonder on what planet we live. By destroying the past, [it is] impossible to understand the present. We must not shirk its responsibilities.”
But Kapoor seems to be denying the interview happened at all. He told the Independent newspaper: “Did I say that? I don’t think so… I don’t remember saying it.”
“As far as he could recall,” the Independent reports, “he had not mentioned Marie-Antoinette or any other queen.”
Kapoor is well known for his Orbit Tower in London, which has drawn similar levels of criticism. It was described by critics as a “catastrophic collision between two cranes”.