'Vagina' sculpture at Versailles causes controversy

Indian-born British artist Anish Kapoor's 'Dirty Corner' is displayed in the gardens of the Chateau de Versailles, in Versailles, France. The 'Kapoor Versailles' exhibition of the artist's work runs from June 9 to November 1. CHARLES PLATIAU/REUTERS

Indian-born British artist Anish Kapoor’s ‘Dirty Corner’ is displayed in the gardens of the Chateau de Versailles, in Versailles, France. The ‘Kapoor Versailles’ exhibition of the artist’s work runs from June 9 to November 1. 

Visitors to the famous gardens of Versailles Palace have a new sculpture to look at: a giant “vagina.”

Anish Kapoor, 61, told the French newspaper Journal du Dimanche that the work represents “the vagina of the queen who takes power.”

The statue, “Dirty Corner,” is part of a Kapoor exhibition of six large sculptures opening at Versailles June 9.

Not everyone is happy with it.

Robert Ménard, the mayor of Beziers, tweeted out: “Kapoor’s giant vagina at Palace of Versailles. Contemporary art continues to disfigure our heritage.”

--RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE, MANDATORY MENTION OF THE ARTIST UPON PUBLICATION, TO ILLUSTRATE THE EVENT AS SPECIFIED IN THE CAPTION --STEPHANE DE SAKUTIN/AFP/Getty Images

‘Shooting into the Corner,’ a 2008-2009 mixed media artwork by British contemporary artist Anish Kapoor, is displayed at the Royal Tennis Court outside the Chateau de Versailles, in Versailles on June 5, 2015, as part of ‘Kapoor Versailles,’ an exhibition of Kapoor’s work that runs through June 9-November 1, 2015. 

--RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE, MANDATORY MENTION OF THE ARTIST UPON PUBLICATION, TO ILLUSTRATE THE EVENT AS SPECIFIED IN THE CAPTION --STEPHANE DE SAKUTIN/AFP/Getty Images

‘Sectional Body Preparing for Monadic Singularity,’ a monumental artwork by British contemporary artist of Indian origin Anish Kapoor, is displayed in the gardens of the Chateau de Versailles, in Versailles as part of ‘Kapoor Versailles,’ an exhibition of Kapoor’s work that runs through June 9-November 1, 2015.

Tourists gather around Indian-born British artist Anish Kapoor's 'Descension,' 2014 water artwork creation in the gardens of the Chateau de Versailles, in Versailles, France, June 5, 2015. The 'Kapoor Versailles' exhibition of the artist's work runs from June 9 to November 1.CHARLES PLATIAU/REUTERS

Tourists gather around Indian-born British artist Anish Kapoor’s ‘Descension,’ 2014 water artwork creation in the gardens of the Chateau de Versailles, in Versailles, France, June 5, 2015. The ‘Kapoor Versailles’ exhibition of the artist’s work runs from June 9 to November 1.

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People have also been tweeting complaints at Catherine Pégard, the head of the estate at Versailles. In the tweets, they’ve called Kapoor’s work an insult to France, royalty and women.

“Why can you accept such horror in the heart of such a wonder,” one person tweeted in French.

Kapoor’s exhibition also includes five more installations throughout the gardens at Versailles. People can wander the gardens and see “C-Curve,” “Sky Mirror,” “Descension,” “Sectional Body Preparing for Monadic Singularity” and “Shooting Into the Corner.”

Kapoor told The Independent that he didn’t remember saying “Dirty Corner” was representative of a vagina.

--RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE, MANDATORY MENTION OF THE ARTIST UPON PUBLICATION, TO ILLUSTRATE THE EVENT AS SPECIFIED IN THE CAPTION --STEPHANE DE SAKUTIN/AFP/Getty Images

British contemporary artist of Indian origin Anish Kapoor poses in front of his work ‘C-Curve,’ a 2007 stainless steel monumental artwork displayed in the gardens of the Chateau de Versailles. It is part of an exhibition of Kapoor’s work that runs through June 9-November 1, 2015.

“Did I say that? I don’t think so,” he said. “I don’t remember saying it.”

Kapoor said he had referenced the vagina, but that people were taking it the wrong way.

“I don’t see why it’s problematic [to mention vaginas],” he said to The Independent. “We all have one – or at least we all have something.”

In a June 5 interview with journalists at the Chateau of Versailles, Kapoor said that there are elements in the art dealing with bodies and levels of sexuality, but that there was much more to the set of sculptures.

“A work has multiple interpretive possibilities,” Kapoor said.

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