A praying Hitler statue erected in the former Warsaw Ghetto in Italian artist Maurizio Cattelan’s “HIM” has drawn mixed reactions, as it provoked Jews while being praised by Art critics.
A new art installation in the former Warsaw ghetto has provoked many mixed reactions.
The work, named “HIM,” has drawn many visitors. The polarizing piece can only be seen from a distance, and it depicts a praying Hitler.
The piece’s creator, Italian artist Maurizio Cattelan, has not said what Hitler is supposed to be praying for, but it is supposed to make people reflect on the nature of evil.
And the artwork has offended many people, particularly for its placement.
The director of Jewish advocy group and museum, the Jerusalem’s Simon Wiesenthal Center, condemned the artwork.
[Dr. Efraim Zuroff, Director of the Simon Wiesenthal Centre]:
“So to put a statute like this in the hall of the Warsaw Ghetto is so tasteless. It is just merely a way of getting a headline and drawing attention to his work and unfortunately in this case we have no choice but to denounce it and to protest which of course leads to publicity for this sculptor.”
However, many others have praised the artwork, according to the exhibition’s curator.
[Justyna Wesolowska, Curator]:
“It is really funny, for me it’s very positive that locally we are receiving only positive reactions. I think that maybe the world only heard two slogans. I don’t want to offend anyone, but I have a feeling that not everyone saw this installation. If they had come here and seen the installation, ‘Him’ on Prozna, then I think their reactions would be toned down.”
From a distance, only the back of the Hitler statue can be seen, but pictures of a frontal view show the unmistakable face of the German dictator.
It is not Cattelan’s first provocative artwork; “La Ona Ora” – “The Ninth Hour” – was a 1999 wax figure depicting Pope John Paul II struck down by a meteor.