Anish Kapoor “Dirty Corner” (2011) / paint

This public sculpture has been vandalized on numerous occasions. 

In one instance, when the work was covered in anti-Semitic slurs including “SS blood sacrifice,” “the second RAPE of the nation by DEVIANT JEWISH activism,” and “Christ is King in Versailles,” (the artist’s mother is Jewish), Kapoor opted not to go through the effort of cleaning it again. It was an act of protest, but it was not without consequences: In response, right-wing politician Fabien Bougle took the artist to court for displaying the offensive slurs, “inciting racial hatred, public insults, and complicity in these crimes.”

Later, in June 2015, unknown perpetrators vandalized this work while it was installed in the gardens of the Palace of Versailles in Paris, splattering the inside of the conical artwork with yellow paint. Ultimately, the graffiti remained (although covered up with gold leaf in accordance with the court’s ruling), and the work was put into storage. A second appearance is in the works—Kapoor said it was going to “some remote place” in Denmark

The public work gained notoriety after the artist reportedly described it as a symbol of “the vagina of the queen who took power.” Kapoor later insisted that the vandalism had been “an inside job” perpetrated by the Palace itself for political reasons. 

Christopher Schreck