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.