Veteran artist Daniel Buren forces French ministry to withdraw graffiti star tribute

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Daniel Buren, whose 260 striped candy columns at the Royal Palace were themselves condemned as a carbuncle, opposed the temporary work which was intended as a tribute to his.

Agence France Presse | By Agence France Presse, Paris

UPDATED MAY 30, 2018 10:07 AM IST

The creator of France’s most famous modern public art work forced the country’s Ministry of Culture to remove a piece of street art he had placed next to it.

Veteran artist Daniel Buren, whose 260 candy-striped columns at the Royal Palace were themselves condemned as a carbuncle, opposed the temporary work which was intended as a tribute to his own.

The ministry confirmed that it had removed the striped posters put up by the Parisian graffiti artist Le Module de Zeer. He had covered the 17th century colonnade around Buren’s work with black and white horizontal bands, supposed to interact with Buren’s verticals.

But the 80-year-old, who has sued the state in the past for failing to look after his job properly, said he had not been informed and called for their removal.

Zeer’s Module, real name Mehdi, has built a cult following in the French capital, covering a nightclub and giant disused factory chimney with futuristic scribbles.

Jean Faucheur, the curator who helped set up Zeer’s Module work at the Palais Royal, said the controversy had been “very hurtful” to the artist.

“It’s a shame, it’s a scandal that could have been avoided,” he said.

But the French Culture Ministry said they had no choice but to act after admitting they had not asked for Buren’s permission. “We are the Ministry of Intellectual Property and Copyright (…) and we must be exemplary,” a spokesperson told AFP.

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