Works by foreign artists vandalised at Kochi Biennale

Miscreants vandalised works by two foreign artists who are participating at the ongoing Kochi Muziris Biennale here, an act seen by the organisers as a conspiracy to derail the art event.

Paint colours were splashed across a wall art by South African artist Clifford Charles at the Aspinwall House, the main venue for the Bienalle on Tuesday, the organisers said in a statement.

"In the broad day light on Tuesday, one person in his green T-shirt and bermuda was spotted trying to pour paint on Clifford's artistic work. When some onlookers tried to stop him, he fled from the spot," they said.

An attempt was also made to deface a sketch by Australian artist Daniel Connell on the wall of the Cochin Carnival Office here, they said. The Cochin Carnival is collaborating with the Bienalle.

Biennale organisers have filed a police complaint.

The South African artist, however, has taken the event in a sporting way. "While any artist would not want his works to be damaged, it is interesting to see how the locals feel free to try to engage with the work," Charles told PTI.

He said it was important to address larger long term issues such as art education.

"A biennale needs to happen for people to get acquainted with art traditions from across the world. This is all part of the process of working in a dynamic society which is changing," said Charles, who is now working on a new artwork to replace the vandalised one.

In the run up to the Bienalle during the months of April and May when an exhibition of paintings by a German artist was showcased at the Durbar Hall here, authorities of the Dresden Museum in Germany had received threats through e-mails, organisers claimed

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