wednesday, 14 february 2018
Arystanbek Muhamediuly, Kazakhstan’s Minister of Culture and Sport, has suggested that the “Lovers” sculpture — which depicts a woman in close-fitting dress — should be altered in response to Astana residents’ dissatisfaction.
Erected in Astana 11 years ago, the sculpture by the talented artist Tolepbai Erbulat has provoked vigorous discussions and disquiet amongst Astana residents.
One Astana local named Sholtoev has even tied a scarf on the sculpture’s head. In response to citizen anger Kazakhstan’s National Academy of Arts has conducted a study of the sculpture and concluded that it is “a perfect example of aesthetic, visual art.”
Despite this, Minister Arystanbek Muhamediuly has stated that he intends to cut off parts of the female figure which stick out excessively, given the clingy attire.
Sergei Ignatiev, a Tashkent artist living in the U.S.A, has a negative view of the issue:: “A sick bureaucrat decided that he knows what people want, and if something isn’t to his taste, then he’s ready to ruin it. You can start with a (tied) headscarf, and end by blowing up historical monuments,” said the artist.
The minister’s proposal has evoked wide discussion on Kazakh internet. Facebook user Aigul Utepova wrote the following about the consequences of foolish governance: “Kazakhstan is gradually turning towards fascism. Members of Nurotan’s party are ready to “blotch” the artist’s sculpture. Maybe even the artist himself won’t be against it.”