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France: Decision to remove artworks overturned

11 September 2017
The Supreme Court, on 1 September 2017, overturned a decision by a Strasbourg court to remove 125 artworks from the streets of French town Dannemarie.
Photo: Les efFronté-e-s/Facebook

 

The Supreme Court for administrative justice in Paris has, on 1 September 2017, overturned a decision by a Strasbourg court to remove 125 artworks from the streets of French town Dannemarie, reported Le Monde. The previous ruling, motivated by a complaint from feminist association Les EfFRONTé-e-s, mandated that the Dannemarie town hall had to remove the 65 objects, including purses and stilettos, and the 60 female silhouettes that it installed around the town to commemorate its ‘Year of the Woman’ project.

According to the feminist association’s lawyer, Lorraine Questiaux, the artworks were controversial because they were “ostensibly sexualized, taking up the degrading stereotypes of the woman-object or the spending woman”. However, the Supreme Court considered the matter into a wider context and decided that there was no will to discriminate or sexualize women in this instance as the initiative was part of the town’s larger project, which involved changing street names to commemorate prominent feminists and the holding of exhibitions to celebrate the role of women in World War I.

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