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Tycoon’s Partner Sparks Furor Over Black Woman Chair Photo

© RIA NovostiA screen shot of the buro247.ru website
A screen shot of the buro247.ru website - Sputnik International
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The partner of one of Russia’s richest men caused public outcry Tuesday after a photo of her sitting on a chair designed to look like a topless black woman was posted online.

MOSCOW, January 21 (RIA Novosti) – The partner of one of Russia’s richest men caused public outcry Tuesday after a photo of her sitting on a chair designed to look like a topless black woman was posted online.

Daria Zhukova, a prominent cultural patron in Russia and the long-term girlfriend of billionaire Roman Abramovich, was widely condemned for the picture, published on fashion website Buro 24/7 and showing her posing on the unusual item of furniture.

But Zhukova insisted in a statement issued to various media outlets that the chair was in fact “an artwork intended specifically as a commentary on gender and racial politics.”

“I utterly abhor racism, and would like to apologize to anyone who has been offended by this image,” the art patron was quoted as saying.

The image appeared to stir up a particularly negative reaction because its publication coincided with Martin Luther King Day in the United States, a holiday that commemorates the assassinated civil rights advocate.

US news website The Huffington Post said the picture filled them “with anger and frustration,” while a writer for women’s magazine Cosmopolitan wrote in a blog that “you should feel incredibly uncomfortable, ethically, sitting on it.”

Buro 24/7 later removed the photograph from its website, replacing it with a cropped version of the same photograph in which the chair was not visible.

 

 

 

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