Controversial ‘comfort women’ statue on display by Nagoya gallery

Works from an art exhibition that has repeatedly sparked controversy for its purported “anti-Japan” message by featuring a statue symbolizing “comfort women” in wartime were on display in a gallery in central China. Japan, organizers of the event said on Tuesday.

The Sakae Municipal Gallery in Nagoya will display the statue of a young girl in traditional Korean costume symbolizing women who worked in Japanese military brothels during wartime as well as two other pieces in the exhibition until July 11.

The exhibition, titled “After ‘Freedom of Speech?’”, Was initially opened at the 2019 Aichi Triennale, but was forced to close for security reasons amid a flood of threats and threats. complaints.

Photo taken on July 6, 2021, shows a statue symbolizing wartime “comfort women” on display at an art exhibition at the Sakae Municipal Gallery in Nagoya. (Kyodo)

A similar exhibition that was slated to open in Tokyo last month has been postponed indefinitely due to disruption caused by protesters in vehicles using loudspeakers.

The exhibition is also unlikely to open in Osaka later this month as scheduled after a prefectural facility revoked organizers’ permission to use it as a venue.

Nagoya city officials said they had asked organizers to tighten security and would work with police to organize the event.

The other two works on display include a film featuring a scene where an image of Emperor Hirohito, the present Emperor’s grandfather, is reduced to ashes.

According to city officials, protesters gathered outside the facility over the weekend, criticizing the city for allowing use of the venue.

Nagoya Mayor Takashi Kawamura, who opposed the exhibition, refused to pay part of the festival’s expenses in 2019, leading to a legal battle.

The incident also sparked a campaign demanding the sacking of Governor Aichi Hideaki Omura, who headed the festival’s steering committee.

Japan’s relations with South Korea remain strained over a dispute over compensation for wartime workers and former comfort women.

Associated coverage:

Artistic Event Featuring ‘Comfort Women’ Statue Postponed Due to Protests

Controversial art exhibition opens in Tokyo on June 25

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