Does the United Nations need prior approval from the Chinese regarding what artwork can be displayed?
|Gun Sculpture Display had no censorship problem in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada|
Not so much in Vienna, Austria. Looks like the Chinese may have Censorship privileges pull in Europe too!
On July 13, Bromley and Kendal received a letter from a UN official in Vienna expressing admiration for the art, but no promise to restore the panels to the installation. The letter acknowledged some parts of the exhibit have been removed.
"But by no means has deliberate action been taken to undermine the integrity or the value of the work," said the letter.
A representative of the Chinese delegation in Vienna initially acknowledged the country had complained about the sculpture and later declined to comment, according to a local newspaper report.
The exhibit in Vienna, called The Art of Peace-making, opened in June especially for the annual meeting of the Academic Council of the UN, said Andy Knight, professor of international relations at the University of Alberta and a former vice-president with the council.
"This is on public display to the world and China wouldn't stand for that at a UN facility," said Knight, adding he's surprised UN staff gave in to China's pressure.
It's ironic that a sculpture promoting peace would be censored at the UN, an organization devoted to peace and security, he said.
Kendal and Bromley's sculpture was displayed first at the Edmonton Art Gallery in 2000.