The Metropolitan Museum of Art of New York has chosen not to bow to public pressure and defied a call to remove a 1938 painting by Balthasar Klossowski, also known as Balthus, which allegedly promotes voyeurism.
The Met’s decision came in response to a petition demanding that it take down a painting called Therese Dreaming which depicts a young girl sitting on a chair and leaning back with her underwear exposed.
Thérèse Dreaming (1938), by Balthus. pic.twitter.com/rr7BYJ0N6C— LionMartin (@thegreenmailman) 5 декабря 2017 г.
Mia Merrill, the author of a petition calling for the painting’s removal, insisted that considering the "current climate around sexual assault and allegations that become more public each day" the museum "is romanticizing voyeurism and the objectification of children" by showcasing the painting.
She also added that Therese Dreaming should be replaced by a painting created by a female artist from the same period as Balthus, according to The Guardian.
Met spokesman Ken Weine said that the museum will not remove the Balthus painting and noted that such occurrences "provide an opportunity for conversation."
"Moments such as this provide an opportunity for conversation, and visual art is one of the most significant means we have for reflecting on both the past and the present and encouraging the continuing evolution of existing culture through informed discussion and respect for creative expression," Weine said.
The spokesman’s words elicited a positive response among the Twitter audience, with people voicing their support for the Met’s stance.
Petition against #Balthus #ThérèseDreaming: Nazi Hysteria! Not much different from book burnings and banning of "degenerate art". Different era and society, different methods, but same purposes: homologation, conformism, ignorance, aseptic bigotry… pic.twitter.com/9SmMHf4363— Spooky M (@SpookyWDeadman) 6 декабря 2017 г.
A failed petition wanted a 1938 Balthus painting Therese Dreaming off display at NY Met Museum because it equaled "child objectification."— Cha's Aegis (@Cha_Aegis) 6 декабря 2017 г.
'Cause, y'know, art isn't SUPPOSED to be subjective or provocative.
What's next? Claim 'Lolita' & "Anna Karenina' incite a "rape" culture?
#Theresedreaming What is wrong with people? Some people just want a bland existence. Everyone wear grey and don't speak or write anything for fear of offending or controversy…— Kev Hearn (@Kev_Hearn) 6 декабря 2017 г.
Happy to see you standing your ground over 'Thérèse Dreaming'. Art is art is art is art. America, however, is one of the most prudish countries on the planet with a current obsession with seeing pedophilia in places where it is not. The painting is beautiful. Keep exhibiting it.— MichelleTopham (@MichelleTopham1) 6 декабря 2017 г.