A statue of Minister of Culture and Sport Miri Regev was put up in Tel Aviv’s Habima Square on Thursday morning by artist Itai Zalait, showing the minister in a dress standing in front of a mirror next to a sign that read “In the heart of the nation.”
The event apparently protested the “Cultural Loyalty Bill”– initiated by Regev – which passed a first reading this week in the Knesset.
“It’s my right as an artist to free expression in the public square,” Zalait told Army Radio. “We are not sure we’ll be able to do it in a few years.”
Regev thanked Zalait for the statue.
“In the past three years I have done a great deal of placing a mirror in front of the Israeli cultural world, revealing the exclusion of entire populations and the patronage of those who think of themselves as the heart of the nation,” Regev said. “Well, the people, in all its parts, are my mirror. The principles of cultural justice are what is reflected before my eyes in the face of Cinderella’s story and the legendary statement ‘Mirror, mirror on the wall, what are the ugliest injustices of them all?’”
In a similar incident in August 2017, the Jerusalem Municipality removed a golden statue of Supreme Court President Miriam Naor, which was placed by an unknown artist in front of the Supreme Court in Jerusalem and removed by police.
In December 2016, a golden statue of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was placed in Rabin Square and taken down by civilians. The statue
, which was also created by Zalait stood next to a sign that read “This is the Golden Calf, worship the statue.” The municipality requested it be removed due to the lack of permission over its placement.
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