A Berlin gallery has closed an exhibition of satirical art by the controversial Danish group Surrend after receiving threats from a group of Muslims. The men were objecting to a picture of the Kaaba at Mecca under the title “Dumb Stone.” Eighteen months ago, the severed head of Muhammad was enough to get an opera temporarily cancelled (more…) in Berlin. This time around, it’s an irreverent image of the Kaaba in Mecca that has caused an exhibition in the German capital to shut its doors. But there is one major difference between the two incidents: Whereas the mere spectre of possible attacks was enough to get the Deutsche Oper to put the kibosh on a Mozart opera in 2006, Berlin’s Galerie Nord closed its doors this week after a group of Muslims walked into the gallery and threatened staff with violence. “It was a very explosive situation,” Jan Egesborg, whose satirical art group Surrend created the Galerie Nord exhibition, told Spiegel Online. “We don’t want to be part of the current Islamophobic tendency in Europe. We weren’t trying to provoke Muslims.” The exhibition, called “ZOG — Surrend,” opened last Friday and was scheduled to run until the end of March. Conceived by the controversial Danish satirical art group, it included a picture of the black, cube-shaped Kaaba in the Muslim holy city of Mecca. Above the image, a headline read “Dumb Stone.” Gallery manager Ralf Hartmann decided on Tuesday to shut down the show after six men believed to have been Muslims turned up demanding that the image be removed. The men reportedly threatened the staff with violence should they not comply. David Gordon Smith reports.

Share Button

Sources