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The Israel Pavilion at the Biennale remains closed

The Israel Pavilion at the Biennale remains closed

The artist only wants to open his works when there is a ceasefire and the hostages are released from Gaza. “I hate it, but I think it's important,” Ruth Battier said.

The Israeli Pavilion at the Venice Art Biennale remains closed for the time being. A banner in the foreground announces artist Ruth Battier's decision. She explains this on Instagram: She feels that now is not the right time for art and she has to believe that it will come back. “And if I were offered such a wonderful stage, I would love to use it.” For this reason, I decided not to open the pavilion until a ceasefire was reached and the hostages were released from Gaza. “This was our decision and we stand by it,” Battier continued.

Notice on the wing.(c) Almuth Spiegler

Rejects cultural boycott. But: “I would rather raise my voice with those I support in their cry: Ceasefire now, bring the people back from captivity. 'We can't take it anymore.'” Museum curator Tamar Margalit told The New York Times that visitors can see one of Batyr's video works. Through the window of the closed suite, the newspaper quoted Battier as saying: “I hate it, but I think it is important.”

He previously called for the exclusion of Israel

The opening of the Israeli pavilion was eagerly awaited. Many had already called for Israel's exclusion from this year's Art Biennale in a petition submitted at the end of February. An open letter posted online by the Art Not Genocide Alliance (ANGA) at the time said it was unacceptable to present artworks from a state currently committing atrocities against Palestinians in Gaza. According to the activist group, more than 23,000 people have signed so far.

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The Venice Art Biennale opens on Saturday and runs from April 20 to November 24. (APA/DPA)

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