Antwerp removes ‘waking up’ images from Scheburg stairs | outside

with videoFour pictures that were supposed to give the staircase of Antwerp’s Arenberg Theater “a more varied and contemporary look”, the city council ordered them to be replaced with the original historical paintings. The decision caused a sensation: “They wanted to hide the image of white men.”

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The four images by world-famous photographer Moss Lambrat – including one of a woman wearing a headscarf – have adorned the Arenberg staircase since the beginning of November, which has undergone a comprehensive renovation. According to the theater, the goal was to give the interior a “more diverse and contemporary look”. “Our hall was full of white elders. It doesn’t reflect the city scene today,” director Milan Rutten declared last fall. Antwerp newspaper.

Four portraits of Antwerp’s historical figures – including the mayor of Antwerp Philips van Marenix, businessman Gilbert van Schoonbeek and Peter Appelmans, one of the architects of the Cathedral of Our Lady – had to make way for portraits of Lamprat.

It was against the sore leg of Luc Lemmens, member of the board of directors of the Antwerp Cultural Institutions. “It bothers me that people want to obscure the image of white men. This is how they try to erase history under the pressure of a vigilant culture that a group of intellectuals adhere to. I am against rewriting history,” said Lemmens, who is also an MP for Antwerp on behalf of Flemish nationalism in-Virginia. Antwerp newspaper (GVA). “I understand very well that Arenberg wants to work on variety, but there are enough places in the theater to do that.”

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© Photo News / Mouss Lamrabet

The Antwerp City Council heard Lemmens. He decided that the pictures should be removed and the original paintings should be reinstated. Pictures of Lambarat will be moved to other locations in Arenberg. One photograph of a veiled woman has already been removed, and will be displayed “prominently” in the reception hall. The other three pictures will disappear over the Easter weekend, and will eventually be displayed in the renovated foyer.

Antwerp City Council Member of Culture Nabila Ait Daoud (N-VA) responded to the issue on Thursday on Belgian Radio 1. Erasing the past is madness. I do not participate in this cancellation culture.” “These are not just paintings of white men removed, but historical figures who helped make our city great.”

‘on your own’

Ait Daoud stresses that she does not see that Lambrat’s photos have “woke up”. “I love those pictures. They show our city in all its diversity, veil or not. I am talking about a manager, a civil servant in Antwerp, who removed his historical paintings of his own accord.”

The fact that the city is meddling so radically is said to be particularly bad for Arenberg’s leadership. This was one of the reasons for the resignation of Milan Rutten as director of the theater at the end of February. Other political parties in the municipality also expressed their dissatisfaction with the intervention of the city council. “This is unheard of and I am shocked,” Tatiana Schick, a board member of Vooruit, one of the largest parties, told the Belgian newspaper. Scheck is also a board member at Arenberg. “Arenberg is an independent art house and the Antwerp City Council is now interfering with the artistic freedom of this house. This sets a dangerous precedent.”

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Photographer Moes Lamrabat who works for international fashion magazines such as Vogue magazine And GQ And brands like Yves Saint Laurent, frustrating. “In Flanders, diversity continues to spark discussion, unlike what happens abroad. They are not at all surprised by what is in my work,” Murabet told the newspaper.

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