Gallery: Sculpture of comatose Sharon stirs emotions

Art exhibit in Tel Aviv featuring wax figure-like sculpture of former PM in his hospital bed enrages political supporters, former adviser.

October 20, 2010 17:09
2 minute read.

Ariel Sharon sculpture 311 ap. (photo credit: Associated Press)


Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later Don't show it again

A lifelike sculpture of former prime minister Ariel Sharon is stirring high emotions among Israelis.

Sharon, the tough army general turned politician who led Israel during the trying years of the second Palestinian uprising and uprooted Israeli settlers from Gaza in 2005, suffered a devastating stroke on January 4, 2006, that has left him comatose for nearly five years.

Be the first to know - Join our Facebook page.

Sheba denies planned transfer of Ariel Sharon to his ranch
Feature: Hunting for Ariel Sharon

An art exhibit opening this week in Tel Aviv, which features a wax figure-like sculpture of Sharon in his hospital bed, has enraged his political supporters.

"There's no art here, only sickening voyeurism," said Kadima MK Yoel Hasson.

"This is not the way I would like to remember Sharon," said Raanan Gissin, Sharon's former adviser and confidant, after visiting the Tel Aviv art gallery where the sculpture is exhibited. "I think Sharon would say, 'I would rather not be remembered, than be remembered that way.'"

Gissin, who serves as a family spokesman, said Sharon's two sons had no comment.

Gissin said he frequently visits the Tel Aviv hospital ward where Sharon is treated, but cannot bring himself to look at the former premier in his current state.

"He's neither alive nor dead. It's very tragic," Gissin said.

Sharon's family plans to move the former prime minister to his private ranch in southern Israel, where he will continue to be closely supervised by medical staff, Gissin said.

Artist Noam Braslavsky said he created the sculpture because Sharon has been absent from the public eye for so long.

"There is a national consensus that no one touches his image," said Braslavsky. "I'm touching an open nerve."

Braslavsky said the comatose statue, whose chest moves up and down to depict Sharon's dependence on a breathing machine, represents Israel's inertia on improving the country's political situation.

"It's an allegory about the state of Israel's state of existence, hanging between the heavens and the earth," Braslavsky said.

The artwork portrays Sharon's eyes open, "but they don't see. It's reminiscent of the state of our government," Braslavsky said.

Braslavsky said he has received a wide range of reactions. He said he understood the angry responses, but said some visitors have thanked him for depicting a legendary figure whom they miss.

Related Content

Jisr az-Zarq
April 3, 2014
Residents of Jisr az-Zarqa beckon Israel Trail hikers to enjoy their town