Statue of Culture Minister Miri Regev was founded on Thursday morning in the center of Tel Aviv. City inspectors gave the artist four hours to move the statue from Habima Square, a popular gathering place adjacent to Israel's national theater.
Created by Itay Zalait, the statue of Regev wearing a white dress similar to "Jerusalem dress" which he wears at the Cannes festival in 2017, spurs a lot of online hilarity.
The statue depicts Regev standing in front of a large mirror. A sign reads: "In the heart of the country."
On Wednesday the press received notice that "subversive artistic action will take place in the public domain, in the Tel Aviv area (the right location will be given before dawn). Please prepare."
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"Thank you Itay Zalait for placing mirrors on 'Heart of the Nation' at Hamiba Square," Regev commented on Thursday morning. "In the past three years I have placed a mirror in the face of Israeli culture, which thinks it is no less than the heart of the people. & # 39;" He continued to say that the mirror he placed "revealed how [Israeli culture arena] marginalize the whole community and look down on people. People, everyone, is my mirror. And what I see is the principle of justice when I beg for the story of Cinderella and ask: Mirror, mirror on the wall, what is the worst mistake in the city? "
Zalait said he created the work to study people's responses. As for the choice of location, Habima is considered a high cultural center in Israel, he said. The mirror is intended to reflect reality, Zalait explained. "This reflects reality, which can be seen in various ways. A mirror usually doesn't lie, including in famous fables. "
He added that his work does not conflict with "this or that law – there is a process that takes place here and needs to be addressed. Some people see this picture as Cinderella, but some say it is Cinderella's mother," he said.
Zalait also made headlines two years ago for placing a gold statue of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Rabin Square in Tel Aviv. It stood there for one night and in the middle of the following day it was torn down by Israelis invited to Rabin Square through social media to try and "overthrow Netanyahu" himself.
Asked if he was afraid of the same fate for Regev's work, Zalait said, "I think that's the good part, that there isn't too much planning, and whatever happens, happens. The statue belongs to everyone in the public domain, not to me. "
Regev pushed for a law that would give him the authority to cut funding from cultural institutions which "contradicted the principles of the state."
This bill is an amendment to the culture and law of art which has been known as the "loyalty bill in culture". This was heavily criticized, because it allowed the Ministry of Culture to reduce the budget of these institutions or cancel it completely. for one of the following reasons: denying the existence of the State of Israel as a Jewish and democratic state; incitement to racism, violence or terrorism; support armed struggle or acts of terrorism, enemy countries or terrorist organizations, against the State of Israel; marking Independence Day or the day of state formation as a day of mourning; or acts of vandalism or desecration of state flags and symbols.
"As I promised, the law of cultural loyalty is on its way," Regev said about the law.