The Louvre has axed plans for a sexually explicit sculpture to be erected in the Tuileries Gardens, just weeks before it was set to be displayed.
The sculpture by Atelier Van Lieshout depicts a box-shaped human in a sexual act with a box-shaped being, which could either be a human on all fours or an animal.
The piece is 12 metres long and weighs thirty tonnes. It was previously shown in Germany over a three year period.
The director of the Louvre, Jean-Luc Martinez sent a letter to the organisers of the art show, saying the work "had a brutal aspect," which "risks being misunderstood by visitors to the gardens".
The organisers of the event, the Fiac contemporary art fair, said not displaying the art was damaging to the other artists involved.
The display was to begin on 19 October, until the decision was reversed.
Some users on Twitter accused the Louvre of censorship, following the scrapping of the event:
The London-based gallery Carpenters Workshop, which represents Atelier Van Lieshout, said:
The censored artwork is a liveable architectural sculpture, 12 metres in height, with a humoristic and provocative representation of the domestication of human beings in the world.
The act of domestication, however, often leads to boundaries being sought or even crossed. It is this difficult balance that Atelier Van Lieshout seeks to address.
HT The Local