forbidden books

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Argentinian artist Marta Minujín has used thousands of prohibited books to construct a replica of the Parthenon in Athens on a Nazi book-burning site in Kassel, Germany.

Taking a stance against censorship, Minujín designed the Parthenon of Books to echo the classical Greek temple, which remains a major icon of the democratic Athenian polis.

Metal scaffolding mimics the form of the temple, which is then covered in books held by plastic wrapping. All the books were donated by the public from a shortlist of over 170 titles that are either currently or formerly prohibited.ç

Also emphasising Minujín’s motivation is the chosen site of Friedrichsplatz Park, where Nazi sympathisers burned an estimated 2,000 prohibited books on 19 May 1933.

The installation forms part this year’s Documenta 14art festival in Kassel, a city in the north of central German state Hesse. It responded to a brief that asked contributing artists to explore the relationship between Kassel and Athens – the festival’s partnering city.

But this is not the first time that Minujín has created the Parthenon of Books. The artist also constructed a replica in Buenos Aires, choosing books banned during Argentinian military dictatorship from 1976 to 1983.

 



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