Versailles “Vagina” Causes Controversy

First Paul McCarthy’s towering “butt-plug” sculpture in Paris was vandalized amid protests by conservative groups; now the celebrated artist Anish Kapoor’s giant “vagina” at the Palace of Versailles is causing handwringing debate in France before it even opens to the public. Kapoor is the latest in a line of high-profile modern artists invited to install new works at the Château de Versailles, the enormous palace built by the Sun King Louis XIV that came to symbolize the end of the monarchy and the French revolution. Kapoor’s array of giant installations, which opens next week, is Paris’s biggest cultural event of the year and is already being hailed as a masterpiece – the first time a modern artist invited to Versailles has really tackled the bloody history of the revolution and the downfall of the king. But after Kapoor described his installation Dirty Corner – a vast steel funnel amid broken stone – as “the vagina of the queen” taking power, controversy has been growing.

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