‘Hitler praying in the ghetto’ – art or outrage?








A statue of Hitler at prayer has been installed in Warsaw’s former ghetto.

The sculpture, called Him, is the work of Italian artist Maurizio Cattelan. It has prompted criticism from some – but others, including Poland’s Chief Rabbi, have not opposed the installation.

The Simon Wiesenthal Center, the Los Angeles-based Jewish human rights organisation, said the statue was ‘senseless provocation’ and ‘insulting to the memory of the Nazis’ Jewish victims’. But Michael Schudrich, Chief Rabbi of Poland, said he did not oppose the installation of the statue in a courtyard in the former ghetto. He added that there was value in attempting to raise questions by provocation.

Fabio Cavallucci, director of the Centre for Contemporary Art, which oversaw the installation, said Cattelan’s work was a commentary on the nature of evil hidden everywhere.

He added: “There is no intention from the side of the artist or the centre to insult Jewish memory.”

Him is part of an exhibition of Cattelan’s works, called Amen, the main body of which will be at Warsaw’s Centre for Contemporary Art until February 24. See the website for more information, at www.csw.art.pl.

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