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Thursday, April 28, 2011

Heroic Avignon

Andres Serrano's 'Piss Christ' vandalized
...[O]n Palm Sunday morning, four people in sunglasses aged between 18 and 25 entered the exhibition just after it opened at 11am. One took a hammer out of his sock and threatened the guards with it. A guard grabbed another man around the waist but within seconds the group managed to take a hammer to the plexiglass screen and slash the photograph with another sharp object, thought to be a screwdriver or ice-pick. They also smashed another work, which showed the hands of a meditating nun.

The gallery director, Eric M├ęzil, said it would reopen with the destroyed works on show "so people can see what barbarians can do". He said there had been a kind of "inquisition" against the art work.


The Guardian/UK article notes the vandals were between ages 18 and 25. There is hope for Europe yet.

The Western social democracies preside over a tyranny of rights, whereby the supposed right to desecrate sacred icons exacts a corresponding duty to tolerate the deviant, the obscene and the repulsive. The cost of protecting such expressions is socialized among a tax base that includes individuals who would not otherwise pay a cent to protect such displays. This is a point that eludes many anarchists: protection of rights bears a cost, and that cost will be set by the market. The right of children to the inviolability of their persons, for example, would be defended even by strangers with no thought as to cost, even of their own lives. The purported right of artists to offend religious sensibilities, not so much.

Pat Buchanan offers some related thoughts, back in 2006.

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