Madrid, Spain – Criticism Against Controversial Sculpture at Art Fair

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    Spain Offensive Sculpture 'Stairways to Heaven'Madrid, Spain – A controversial art piece on exhibition at the Madrid art fair, was condemned by the Israeli Embassy in Madrid as being “offensive to Judaism,” Israeli Channel 2 news reported today.

    “The hurtful message this piece conveys doesn’t hurt less because it is displayed under the veil of art,” the Israeli embassy wrote in a letter to the organizers of ARCO art fair, one of the world’s top contemporary art fairs.

    The installation “Stairway to Heaven,” by Spanish artist Eugenio Merino, displays a crouching Muslim, topped by a kneeling Christian, and he in turn is topped by a Jew in prayer. Next to the sculpture was displayed a machine gun with a Menorah shooting out of its barrel.

    Merino denied that the sculpture was provocative, and said it reflected “the idea of coexistence between the three religions, all of which are trying to reach God.”

    The work, which used human hair and silicone to give it a real look, was sold immediately to a European art collector for 50,000 Euros.

    The Spanish paper the daily El Mundo described the fair as the most controversial ARCO so far, after gallery owners accused the fair company IFEMA of trying to influence the choice of participants.

    Critics also slammed the fair as too big and overpriced, complaining that it had lost importance and come under political influences.

    The fair is set to run until February 21.

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    35 COMMENTS

    1. “Merino denied that the sculpture was provocative, and said it reflected “the idea of coexistence between the three religions, all of which are trying to reach God.”

      So if that is the case, why isn’t there a crucifix and minaret coming out of the machine gun? You anti-Semitic descendant of Isabella.

    2. I love it. It looks realistic and it is artistic. It is true. Muslims bow down, Catholics kneel and Jews stand. Just wondering do Catholics cover their heads during that type of prayer… I mean it seems he is dressed as a priest so I figured his head would be covered.

      You know what is offensive? Behind the sculpture, the gun with the menorah on top of it.

    3. I like it. I think it best represents Judaism and other religions very well. Christians think they’re better than Muslims and Jews think they’re exclusive as a chosen people and it is portrayed well by the Rabbi being on top.

      The Machine gun is an UZI shooting out menorah. In visual arts, this is an ironic symbol. The most famous tool of death invented by the pious and holy nation that were chosen to represent God. There is many ways of interpreting this, but for a Jew I don’t see how it is offensive, unless you are a liberal reform type who sings Tikun Olam the whole day and hides behind political correctness.

      • This is obviously offensive.But it is good to listen to our enemies.Maybe we shouldnt step on others with our religion.This guy is obviously a genius.Look at how perfect he made that sculpture.

      • huh????? you actually don’t see this is offensive???? ok: the jew is on top–trampling the other two guys….looking as haughty as possible–note he is not in a prayer type of stance–perhaps arms outstretched, or a tear from his eye…and the gun nearby with the menorah ….this is one anti semitic piece of art!!!!!!!!!!

    4. I dont think this is offensive in the least! It is three prominent religions, all with the same goal of being with their maker in heaven. I take it is the many dirt roads all leading to one place. How over sensative are we as a people that THIS is considered offensive? It is interesting and thought provoking……none of the people in the statue are being desicrated, and the Jew is on TOP…..so what is the big deal?

    5. I suspect that the machine gun/menorah piece was by a different artist, and blame the fair organizers for placing it there.

      Merino’s stated message is nice, except that for many, his work evokes the idea that Christians are above or taking advantage of Muslims, and that Jews are above or taking advantage of Christians (as well as Muslims).

    6. Think of the Menorah like an olive branch into the Menorah, why does it have to be negative!

      I think its offensive and misrepresenting Judaism, as I hear the “Rov” is holding a an Artscroll transliterated Siddur, I mean seriously, the guy has a problem with “ivra”

    7. Yeah, no subtle messages are to be inferred by the Jew standing on the back of the X-tian. Nothing to see here folks, move along now. Ditto the menorah/machine gun monstrosity to the right.

      Frankly, you Spaniards deserve your 18% unemployment rate and all the privations that go with it. Heck, I think you are getting off pretty mildly for your provincial, medieval thinking.

      • Don’t wish unto others what you wouldn’t wish on your self. The U.S. unemployment is at 10% officially and count all of the jobless people that are not even searching and we reach Spain’s statistics. The difference is that Spain has a mentality for the welfare of society, so they are weathering the economy better than Americans who have to fend for themselves.

        • The welfare society and dependance on the government is the prime cause in Spain’s 18% unemployment. Why would a wealthy business owner want to stay in Spain and operate his business with many jobs if he has to pay 60% taxes to the government to feed these welfare BUMS? That is where your 18% unemployment comes from and that is where it is coming from here in the US.

    8. Reminds me of the oldie but a goodie, a rabbi, a priest and an imam walk into a bar and the bartender says, “what is this, a joke?” (insert rimshot here)

    9. What in heavens name is up with the machine gun/menora thing?? Wudnt it be more appropriate if a minaret was coming out of the machine gun? After all its the muslims that are hellbent on killing/posing with machine guns/ and using weapons to wreak havoc. What do the jews have to do with a machine gun?? Is this world ironic/upside down/screwed up/ or what. Mindblowing.

    10. This is a great visual Purim joke. Spiritually speaking, Yidden do not stand on the shoulders of Christians and Muslims, they stand on our shoulders. The poet Ogden Nash wrote this couplet,
      “How odd of G-d,
      To choose the Jews.”
      The Jewish writer, Dorothy Parker answered,
      “It wasn’t odd,
      The Jews Chose G-d!”

      Happy Purim

    11. An afterthought. I am not offended by the Menorah standing on the barrel of the machinegun. I think it is “disarmingly” historical. What are the only two major religions who have used the machinegun against Yidden?

      Obviously, the Christians and the Muslims! We taught them monotheism and they gave us unwanted opportunities for Kiddush HaShem. I like historical accuracy.

    12. I like it. Especially the Menorah which represents Judaism, being stuck in the barrel of the gun, which represents Islam. I guess it symbolizes Judaism stifling Islam – or shutting it down…

    13. the menora on gun represents that our weapon against the darkness of the world is the light of torah and mitzvos- and by sticking to our guns-we will rise on top.

    14. it is very offensive. it seems to suggest that the jews are standing on the faith of the moslems and christians. it suggests that those faiths are holding us up. as if their piety supercedes ours. i dont like it at all.

    15. If the machine gun was not there, I would not have a big problem with this “sculpture”.

      As for coexistence, that’s a complete lie. Since art is completely in the eye of the beholder, the artist can lie about it, knowing full well what he is presenting. If the figures were side-by-side, it would be one thing. Instead, each figure supersedes the other. That machine gun shows what the artist truly believes.

    16. Poor Israel! Why does it attract so much hate? Why? Is it because they are the chosen people destined by God to inherit His Kingdom? Jealousy is so destructive… Accept that Israel is entitled to do what they are doing or you will perish in Hell!!!!

    17. Come on guys !!!
      First of all, evrybody don’t hate us !!!
      And let not fotget something, we might have been chosen to bear the Torah but no one can say that we are parfect at it, so let us try to listen to what the people around the world are trying to say.
      Also, let not do to the others what they did to us, we can’t judge people by theire religion, and say that muslims should be represented by the machine gun or wish to the spanish people unemployement and such, that’s just not who we are, if that’s ure beleif, then be a nazi.
      Don’t be sad for Israel, Israel has been and will remain.
      But what about us, we are giving evry reason for those people to hate us and disrespect our values.
      By the way, I’m not an artist, but I heard that art could only be read by the heart, and unfortunetly no one hiere thought that maybe the artist doesn’t defferenciate between the three religions and that he tryes to represent the paradoxe created by some religious people who ask for G-d’s Love whithout spreading none of it. And the position of the three men is only the historical representation of mankind religion and how his involvement in it became, a view that could justify the menora thing.

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