Courbet’s “The Origin of the World” tagged in Metz, another stolen work – rts.ch

Courbet’s “The Origin of the World” tagged in Metz, another stolen work – rts.ch
Courbet’s “The Origin of the World” tagged in Metz, another stolen work – rts.ch

A “criminal act” perpetrated by “feminist fanatics” for some, an artistic action for others: the painting “The Origin of the World” by Courbet (1866) was spray painted with red paint on Monday at the Center Pompidou-Metz and another work was stolen.

The work of Gustave Courbet, which represents a female genitalia, was “protected by glass”, the museum told AFP. This “action”, organized by the Franco-Luxembourgish performance artist Deborah de Robertis, was called “We do not separate the woman from the artist”.

Two women tagged “MeToo” on “L’Origine du monde” as well as on a work by Valie Export, Deborah de Robertis told AFP.

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In total, five works were tagged with the words “MeToo”, according to the Center Pompidou-Metz, which explains in a press release that a few people “diverted the mediation and security staff, allowing other members of the group” to tag the works.

Two women in police custody

“All the works are currently being examined,” the museum said Monday evening. “With all the respect we have for feminist movements, we are shocked to see the works of artists, particularly feminist artists, at the heart of the struggles of art history being vandalized,” declared Chiara Parisi, director of the museum, cited in the press release.

Two young women, born in 1986 and 1993 and without criminal records, were taken into police custody early in the afternoon, Metz public prosecutor Yves Badorc told AFP.

“Gesture of reappropriation”

The investigation entrusted to the interdepartmental judicial police service of Metz was opened on two counts: “degradation or deterioration of cultural property committed during a meeting” and “theft of cultural property during a meeting”, specified the magistrate.

A third person, who has not been arrested, could in fact be behind the theft of a work, according to Yves Badorc. The stolen work, a red embroidery on fabric by Annette Messager, is called “I think therefore I suck” (1991). Asked on this point by AFP, Deborah de Robertis confirmed a “gesture of reappropriation”.

A photo of Deborah de Robertis, called “Mirror of the Origin of the World” is also exhibited near “The Origin of the World” for the Center Pompidou-Metz exhibition dedicated to the psychoanalyst. We see the artist pose, naked, under Courbet’s work, a performance carried out on May 29, 2014 at the Musée d’Orsay.

afp/asch

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