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Far-Right Demonstrators Torch 'Gay Rights' Rainbow in Warsaw Public Square: VIDEO

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A massive rainbow public art sculpture which was not intended as, but has become, a symbol of gay rights and diversity, was torched earlier this week by far-right nationalists.

Watch the video, AFTER THE JUMP...

3_rainbowAl Jazeera reports:

Warsaw's main boulevard, Marszalkowska, and neighbouring areas turned into a war zone on the Independence Day March on November 11. Row after row of mostly male youth marched along the boulevard spilling into sidewalks and side streets.They carried flags with Celtic crosses and white power fists, chanted slogans with visceral force and filled the centre of the city with fire-cracker smoke. The parade, with the number of protesters set at around 15,000, was organised by two of the most prominent far-right organisations in the country, the All-Polish Youth and the National-Radical Camp.

Few passers-by dared to stick around and watch the spectacle.

Within one hour of the start of the demonstration, participants had attacked two squats in the centre of Warsaw (Syrena and Przychodnia) and burnt down a rainbow installation in Plac Zbawicela, an artistic installation standing for diversity.

The NYT reported on the sculpture back in March, noting that already the rainbow had been set on fire four times and come under fire from right-wing groups and politicians:

What was intended as a work of public art without an overt political message beyond the need for inclusiveness, according to the artist behind it, has instead become part of a culture war over homosexuality that has been brewing in one of Europe’s most Catholic countries...

...Stanislaw Pieta, a member of Parliament from the conservative Law and Justice Party, the main opposition faction in Poland, called the placement of the rainbow on a grassy circle in front of the church a “disgusting gesture, offensive to Catholics.” He added, “It’s a provocation.”

Although city officials and the artist, Julita Wojcik, say the rainbow is not a monument to gay rights, both its supporters and opponents find they can agree on what the rainbow symbolizes.

Watch the video, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Should Maurizio Cattelan's Hitler Pray In Warsaw Ghetto?

HimItalian artist Maurizio Cattelan's 'HIM,' a 2001 sculpture of Adolf Hitler praying on his knees, has shown all over the world, including New York City's Guggenheim and Venice's Palazzo Grassi, eliciting emotions everywhere it appears. And that's precisely the point.

Cattelan, also infamous for creating a sculpture of Pope John Paul II getting hit by a meteor, deceives the viewer into believing the small body, typically approached from the back, is a school boy.

When they approach and see the big reveal, they're jolted.

"When people see this piece, they react with gasps, tears, disbelief. The impact is stunning," collector and Holocaust survivor Stefan Edlis told The Economist in 2009. "Politics aside, that is how you judge art.”

But should the likeness of the most vile anti-Semite be placed at the site of Poland's Warsaw Ghetto, home to so many Jewish people killed by Hitler's Nazi armies?

Vanessa Gera offers details:

The Warsaw ghetto was an area of the city which the Nazis sealed off after they invaded Poland. They forced Jews to live in cramped, inhuman conditions there as they awaited deportation to death camps. Many died from hunger or disease or were shot by the Germans before they could be transported to the camps.

The Hitler representation is visible from a hole in a wooden gate across town on Prozna Street. Viewers only see the back of the small figure praying in a courtyard. Because of its small size, it appears to be a harmless schoolboy.

"Every criminal was once a tender, innocent and defenseless child," the center said in a commentary on the work.

HIM was installed there by Warsaw's Center for Contemporary Art last month, but growing outrage is gaining traction this week.

"As far as the Jews were concerned, Hitler's only 'prayer' was that they be wiped off the face of the earth," said Efraim Zuroff, director of US-based Jewish rights group The Simon Weisenthal Center's Israeli outpost. Zuroff described the installation as "a senseless provocation which insults the memory of the Nazis' Jewish victims."

CCA's director, Fabio Cavallucci, insists HIM isn't mean to insult the memory of the dead. Rather, it's a reminder of "hidden evil" everywhere.

"There is no intention from the side of the artist or the center to insult Jewish memory," he said. "It's an artwork that tries to speak about the situation of hidden evil everywhere."

Michael Shudrich, Poland's chief rabbi, supports HIM, and even wrote an introduction to the exhibition's catalogue. Art "force[s] us to face the evil of the world," he wrote, according to the AP. He also said, "I felt there could be educational value to it."

Do you agree?

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Reporters Told 'Kiss My Ass' and 'Shove It' for Asking Mitt Romney Questions in Warsaw: VIDEO

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Mitt Romney's traveling Press Secretary Rick Gorka cursed at frustrated reporters today after they questioned Mitt Romney in a public plaza near the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Warsaw, CNN reports:

As Romney made his way to his vehicle, reporters attempted to shout questions to the candidate. The former Massachusetts governor, who has answered only three questions from his traveling press corps during a week-long overseas trip, ignored the queries.

CNN's transcript:

NN: "Governor Romney are you concerned about some of the mishaps of your trip?

NYT: "Governor Romney do you have a statement for the Palestinians?

Washington Post: "What about your gaffes?

NYT: "Governor Romney do you feel that your gaffes have overshadowed your foreign trip?"

CNN: "Governor Romney just a few questions sir, you haven't taken but three questions on this trip from the press!

Gorka: "Show some respect"

NYT: "We haven't had another chance to ask a question..."

Gorka: "Kiss my ass. This is a Holy site for the Polish people. Show some respect."

Shortly thereafter, Gorka told Politico reporter Jonathan Martin to "shove it."

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Reporters Told 'Kiss My Ass' and 'Shove It' for Asking Mitt Romney Questions in Warsaw: VIDEO" »


Towleroad Guide to the Tube #700

WILLIE HORTON: FOX News and Barack Obama.

MEATWAD: The dog and his devious dogsitter.

CANINE CRUSADER: Pug sings the Batman theme.

DUSTIN LANCE BLACK: Speaks to Europride Warsaw.

For recent Guides to the Tube, click HERE.


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