A sculpture dismantled in Beirut for its "resemblance" to the Star of David

Lebanese people rebelled on social media after the publication of a photo showing the work, which, from a certain angle, resembles the Jewish and Israeli symbol.

LP46, the work of Britain’s Nathaniel Rackowe, has been removed from Beirut Martyrs Square for its resemblance to the Star of David from a certain perspective.
LP46, the work of Britain’s Nathaniel Rackowe, has been removed from Beirut Martyrs Square for its resemblance to the Star of David from a certain perspective. Screenshot / Letitia Beirut Gallery

A story of perspective. Ten days ago, a controversy broke out in Lebanon on social networks. A photo showing LP46, a sculpture by British artist Nathaniel Rackowe installed in downtown Beirut did not fail to react. From a certain angle, the metal sculpture would resemble, according to its detractors, the Star of David, symbol of the State of Israel and Judaism.

An unacceptable finding for some, given the very tense relations between Lebanon and Israel, two countries in conflict for decades. At a time when Beirut has been the scene of protests and demonstrations against the government since last October, this work is equated with an attempt to spread Zionism according to the daily An-Nahar . The Lebanese newspaper specifies that this structure is made up of three empty cubes superimposed and backlit.

"The artwork has absolutely nothing to do with the Star of David. (…) It symbolizes the pieces and cubes of iron used in the construction workshops in Beirut"Said Gaia Fodolian, who runs the Leticia art gallery, sponsor of the work to Nathaniel Rackowe. "The sculpture was inspired by the architecture and structures I saw around Beirut"Defended Rackowe, adding that"this sculpture is intended for the inhabitants of Beirut and Lebanon, to celebrate the incredible nature of the place where they live".

The sculpture was inspired by the architecture and structures I saw around Beirut

Nathaniel Rackowe

Under the orders of the Governor of Beirut, Ziad Shabib, LP46 was unbolted on December 15 from Place des Martyrs, where it had been installed in 2018.

● Removal of the LP46 sculpture from Place des Martyrs in Beirut

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