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Walker Art Center to remove ‘Scaffold’ sculpture following protests

Plus: Noose found outside Hirshhorn Museum | and art-world satire wins Palme d’Or at Cannes

30 May 2017

Our daily round-up of news from the art world

Walker Art Center to remove sculpture following protests | Minneapolis’s Walker Art Center is to take down a public sculpture by Sam Durant after protests from activists who say it is disrespectful to the memory of Native Americans executed in a mass hanging in the 19th century. Around 100 protesters gathered on Saturday to demand the removal of Durant’s 2012 work Scaffold, a piece that addresses the US history of capital punishment with reference to specific incidents, including the 1862 hanging of 38 Dakota men by US authorities. ‘I regret that I did not better anticipate how the work would be received in Minnesota, especially by Native audiences,’ said Walker director Olga Viso. ‘I should have engaged leaders in the Dakota and broader Native communities in advance of the work’s siting, and I apologize for any pain and disappointment that the sculpture might elicit.’

Noose found outside Hirshhorn Museum | Police in Washington, D.C. are conducting an investigation after a noose was found hanging from a tree outside the city’s Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden on Friday evening. In an email to staff, Smithsonian secretary David Skorton described the incident as ‘deeply disturbing news’ given the violent racial symbolism of the noose. A spokesperson for the museum said it was unclear why the object was placed outside the Hirshhorn in particular.

Art-world satire wins Palme d’Or at Cannes | Director Ruben Östlund has been awarded the top prize at the Cannes film festival for his widely praised contemporary art-world satire The Square. The film stars Claes Bang as a museum director, with a supporting cast including British actor Dominic West as a famous artist.

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