From Iceland — MP Offended By Sculpture In Front Of Parliament, Wants It Moved Elsewhere

MP Offended By Sculpture In Front Of Parliament, Wants It Moved Elsewhere

Published June 15, 2022

Andie Sophia Fontaine
Photo by
Art Bicnick

Since 2012, Spanish artist Santiago Sierra’s ‘The Black Cone, Monument To Civil Disobedience’ has stood in front of Parliament, a gift from the artist to Iceland in honour of the 2008-2009 protests. Ten years later, one member of Parliament says that the monument is “unpleasant” and wants it moved elsewhere.

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The Black Cone bears a quote from the French Revolution’s Declaration Of The Rights Of Man And Of The Citizen, which states: “When the government violates the rights of the people, insurrection is for the people and for each portion of the people the most sacred of rights and the most indispensable of duties.”

The artist gifted this monument to the City of Reykjavík on the condition that it remain at Austurvöllur, the square in front of Parliament and the site of the protests in question.

Vísir reports that Bergþór Ólason, an MP for the Centre Party, take personal issue with this monument and believes it should be put elsewhere.

“There’s something particularly unpleasant about the fact that it is a monument to civil disobedience directly in front of the nation’s legislature,” Bergþór told Parliament. He encouraged the parliamentary speaker to talk with the City of Reykjavík about moving “this so-called work of art which is an utter disaster in the eyes of many.”

Whether the speaker will abide the sensibilities of Bergþór is unknown, but in any event unlikely.

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