An artist chained himself to a statue he made of a protestor kneeling while holding the Israeli flag as part of protests against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem on Sunday.
Photos from the scene showed the sculptor of the statue with his arm inside the base of the statue set in the middle of Paris Square while surrounded by Border Police and barriers. Authorities are attempting to take apart the statue.
Paris Square is currently undergoing renovations which will include a new, artistic fountain to replace the existing one, fresh flowerbeds, new street lights, heavily shaded trees and placing street furniture in the public space to serve city residents.
Police remove anti-Netanyahu protest statue from Paris Square in Jerusalem (Credit: Jerusalem Municipality spokesperson)
The statue portrays a man kneeling while holding an Israeli flag and is based on a photo taken during the anti-Netanyahu protests in front of the prime minister's residence of a protestor kneeling in front of a water cannon while holding up the flag.
The artist claimed that he followed appropriate measures to place the statue and had not managed to receive an official permit, but had decided to move forward and place it anyway, adding that it was a matter of freedom of expression.
The Jerusalem Municipality stressed in a statement on Sunday that the statue was placed without permission and "in blatant violation of the demonstrators' written commitment not to place it at the site without permission." The municipality added that the statue posed a "safety hazard" in the public space and was therefore removed in coordination with Israel Police to "protect the public order."The protest comes two days before the elections for the 24th Knesset on Tuesday.
Marc Israel Sellem contributed to this report.