Jeff Koons Sculpture to Honor Paris Victims is Under Attack

Not First Controversy Faced by American Sculptor Jeff Koons

sculptor Jeff Koons in front of poster of his proposed piece Bouquet of Tulips

“Bouquet of Tulips” is being touted as a gift to the City of Paris, in honor of the vicims of th 2015 Paris attack.

The proposed sculpture by American Jeff Koons is itself under attack and being viewed as a bunch of hooey by many of the detractors.

French artists and cultural figures have publicly demanded that the City of Paris abandon plans to install a divisive memorial by the American contemporary artist Jeff Koons.

“We, artists, politicians, professionals and amateurs of the French art scene, ask for the abandonment of this initiative,” reads the letter, translated to English. “Indeed, this project is shocking, for reasons of different order and importance, the accumulation of which must lead wisely to abandon it.”

The reasons for the outcry aJeff Koons sculpture Bouquet of Tulipsgainst a sculptural gift?

Well, there are several. Starting with the one where the gift is for the concept and design only. The actual creation of the sculpture will cost the citizens of France more than $4 milion unless funds can be raised independently.

Another objection is the actual location of the sculpture. Although purported to be in honor of the victims, the proposed location is not near the site of the attack.  Instead, the sculpture is intended to be installed in the plaza in front of the City of Paris Museum of Modern Art and the Palais de Tokyo

A third objection is the question as to why the ‘opportunity’ was not opened to French artists. The locals are left to wonder why an event that happened in Paris, to the French people, is being remembered by an American sculptor. Perhaps it is because it was suggested by the American Ambassador at the time, Jane D. Hartley.


And of course there are always detractors for any sculptural design. Many do not seem to appreciate Koon’s style, which is considered “pop” by many, reminiscent of balloon animals. His response? “Bouquet of Tulips” is also paying homage to the Statue of Liberty, with the hand upraised, holding the flowers instead of the more famous lady’s torch.

Of course, Lady Liberty was a gift from the French people to the people of the United States.

And not everyone on this side of the Atlantic appreciated that gift at the time, either.


Story & Photo credits:

For more information please refer to Dezeen or the NYTimes

Proposed sculpture copyright Jeff Koons

Photo of sculptor Jeff Koons in front of his poster of the proposed work by Stephane Cardinale/Corbis, via Getty Images