NEWS

Artists 'appalled' by Olympic Stadium statue

07/19/2012 12:33 EDT | Updated 09/18/2012 05:12 EDT
A new sculpture to be erected at Montreal's Olympic Stadium is causing a stir in Montreal's arts community.

Culture Minister Christine St-Pierre and the Olympic Installations Board announced the inauguration of a statue by Quebec artist André Desjardins.

Desjardins is donating a bronze statue of a nude woman, which the government values at $1.1 million.

Emmanuel Galland, an artist and curator, is calling on St-Pierre to reverse the decision and calls for a more democratic way of choosing artwork for the location.

"We are appalled, we are repulsed and we are shocked," he and writer Annie Lafleur said in a letter published Thursday.

Galland said that for public artworks, there are typically open competitions for artists to take part in. He said in this case the artist is unknown, the work is outdated and mediocre and that the money value is "based on nothing."

The government has already agreed to cover the $50,000 shipping cost to bring the statue to its location at the Olympic Stadium.

"We are concerned because we are talking about something that impact the public, a public space and public money," said Galland.

Galland said the most infuriating thing, are the comparisons that were made at the announcement between Desjardins' work and art legend Jean-Paul Riopelle.

"They are comparing an unknown artist to one of the great masters of Quebec art. It's repulsing, it's inadmissible."

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