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Minister rules out Israel exclusion from Venice Biennale

Minister rules out Israel exclusion from Venice Biennale

Thousands have signed petition calling for ban

ROME, 27 February 2024, 16:22

ANSA English Desk

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© ANSA/FABIO CIMAGLIA

© ANSA/FABIO CIMAGLIA
© ANSA/FABIO CIMAGLIA

Culture Minister Gennaro Sangiuliano on Tuesday ruled out the hypothesis of Israel being excluded from the next Venice Art Biennale, scheduled to take place from 20 April to 24 November, after thousands of artists, cultural institutions and organisations called for a ban over its alleged "genocide" in Gaza.
    "The diktat of those who think they are the holders of the truth and, with arrogance and hatred, think they can threaten the freedom of thought and of creative expression in a democratic, free nation like Italy is unacceptable and shameful," said Sangiuliano.
    "Israel not only has the right to express its art, but it has the duty to bear witness of its people precisely at a time like this when it has been attacked in cold blood by merciless terrorists.
    "The Biennale will always be a space of freedom, encounter and dialogue, not a space of censorship and intolerance".
    The request for a ban is contained in a letter addressed to the Biennale Foundation that has already collected over 8,000 signatures.
    "While the art world prepares to visit the diorama of the nation-state at the (Biennale) Giardini," the appeal reads, "we affirm that it is unacceptable to host a state engaged in the ongoing atrocities against the Palestinians in Gaza.
    "No to the Genocide Pavilion at the Biennale".
   

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