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Controversial prisoners: Spanish body apologises over art exhibit censorship spat

IFEMA, which runs the venue hosting Madrid’s International Contemporary Art Fair, says in a statement the move wasn’t intended as censorship and said it acted in good faith.

art and culture Updated: Feb 23, 2018 11:19 IST
Associated Press
Associated Press
Associated Press
IFEMA,International Contemporary Art Fair,Santiago Sierra
A television journalist reports in front of a blank white wall where art works by artist Santiago Sierra were hung before being taken down in a gallery on the first day of annual the ARCO International Art Fair. (AP)

A Spanish government-funded body has apologized after it caused an outcry by asking an art gallery to yank a photo exhibit on political prisoners from a prestigious international fair in Madrid.

IFEMA, which runs the venue hosting Madrid’s International Contemporary Art Fair, says in a statement the move wasn’t intended as censorship and said it acted in good faith. The statement Thursday didn’t suggest “Political Prisoners in Contemporary Spain” by artist Santiago Sierra be put back on display.

IFEMA on Wednesday asked for the removal of 24 photographs of unidentified prisoners, saying controversy over the exhibit was hogging public attention.

A woman walks past a person holding a photograph, part of the art-installation by Spanish artist Santiago Sierra ‘Political prisoners of contemporary Spain’ at ARCO art fair in Madrid. (AFP)

Some political leaders and activists in Catalonia have recently been jailed because of their region’s bid to become independent from Spain, and their supporters claim they are political prisoners.

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First Published: Feb 23, 2018 11:04 IST