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    A person looks at the artwork “Therese revant” by French painter Balthus, Balthasar Klossowski de Rola at the Fondation Pierre Gianadda in Martigny, Switzerland, Monday, June 16, 2008

    Art is Art: The Met Stands Its Ground Over Allegedly 'Voyeuristic' Painting

    © AP Photo / KEYSTONE/Olivier Maire
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    The largest US art museum has refused to take down a painting that allegedly romanticizes "the objectification of children," according to a petition brought forward by a concerned citizen.

    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.

    ​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.


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    petition, removal, painting, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City, United States
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