From Iceland — PM Plastic Cup Purchase Angers Local Artists

PM Plastic Cup Purchase Angers Local Artists

Published April 18, 2012

A museum’s purchase of a plastic cup Prime Minister Jóhanna Sigurðardóttir drank from has angered artists in the town, who say they have had great difficulty getting any money from the museum.
As reported, Andri Freyr Viðarsson and Guðrún Dís Emilsdóttir, the hosts of the radio show Virkra morgna on Rás 2, held an auction for a plastic cup they found in their studio which was confirmed to have been used by the prime minister. In the end, the Visual Arts Centre in Akureyri placed the winning bid of 105,000 ISK, with all proceeds going to Umhyggja, a charity for chronically ill children.
Not everyone was entirely pleased with the purchase, RÚV reports.
Guðrún Harpa Örvarsdóttir, chairperson of the Visual Arts Society in Akureyri, told reporters that local artists were very displeased when they heard the news of the cup being bought. She said that it has been exceedingly difficult for local artists to receive any kind of financial support from the Visual Arts Centre, and there has in fact been no money earmarked at the centre for buying art for the past ten years; the cup itself was purchased under the guise of being for advertising purposes. There has also been a lesser debate about whether or not the cup can even be considered art.
Guðrún says that local artists have been confused as to why there has been no financial support for their works, but money was available for buying the cup.

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