Last year it was a giant butt plug in Paris, now its a giant vagina at Versailles that is causing a stir in France.
Artist Anish Kapoor has turned heads in France after he told a French newspaper that his latest piece of artwork represented “the queen's vagina” taking power.
The monument, which is called Dirty Corner, is a gigantic steel funnel among broken rocks, with a deep opening facing the Palace of Versailles itself.
It's set to be opened to the public on Tuesday June 9th, as part of Kapoor's entire installation which boasts other large monuments including a whirlpool.
France, of course, doesn't have a queen, so it remains unclear exactly to which royal family member the British-Indian sculptor is referring – though some have guessed Marie Antoinette.
Others, however, have chosen to focus their attention on the idea that a vagina has suddenly appeared on the famed Tapis de Vert section of the gardens.
The local mayor, François de Mazières, tweeted that Kapoor had “slipped up” and traditionalist right wing bloggers have protested that its hardly ideal for a family day out. Others have taken to Twitter to call for a boycott.
Le Parisien said that Kapoor was a “genius provocateur” but added that members of the public were shocked a vagina could be installed in such a formal setting.
Others hailed the concept, with daily Le Figaro noting that any controversy at all would only bring more visitors.
And the fuss at Versailles wasn't all about a giant vagina.
A total of six pieces by Kapoor will be on display in the palace and its gardens.
One piece, called “Shooting Into the Corner”, which features a canon firing 5kg “balls” of red wax against a wall (see photo below).
It will be the first contemporary artwork ever shown inside the palace's Jeu de Paume Room but Kapoor himself described it as an “obvious phallic symbol… to question the violence in our contemporary society”.
The chances are that crowds will flock to see the grand opening, if Kapoor's track record in France is anything to go by.
Close to 300,000 people visited his giant sculpture Monumenta when it was unveiled in the Grand Palais in Paris in 2011 (see below).
France has a long and colourful history when it comes to art and sex colliding head on ( see link below). In October last year, US artist Paul McCarthy faced criticism (and vandalism) after unveiling what appeared to be a giant butt plug in central Paris.