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Venice Biennale 2024: Petition Calls For Israel’s Exclusion Amid Gaza Conflict

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Venice Biennale 2024: Petition Calls For Israel's Exclusion Amid Gaza Conflict

(CTN News) – This year’s Venice Biennale art fair is embroiled in controversy as around 9,000 individuals from the art community, including artists, curators, and museum directors, have signed an online petition calling for Israel’s exclusion from the event.

What Is The Petition About?

The petition, spearheaded by the Art Not Genocide Alliance (ANGA), accuses Israel of committing “genocide” in Gaza amid the ongoing conflict in the region.

The petition comes in the wake of escalating tensions following an attack by Palestinian militant group Hamas in southern Israel, resulting in casualties and hostages, according to Israeli officials.

Israel’s subsequent military operation in Gaza has drawn significant international criticism, with the ANGA petition adding to the chorus of voices condemning Israel’s actions.

Critics argue that any official representation of Israel at the Venice Biennale would amount to an endorsement of its policies and actions in Gaza. They assert that hosting Israel’s national pavilion would effectively platform what they term a “genocidal apartheid state.”

The petition draws parallels with past decisions by the Biennale to exclude countries like South Africa during apartheid and Russia after its invasion of Ukraine, suggesting a perceived double standard in addressing Israel’s involvement.

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Controversy Surrounds Israel’s Participation in Venice Biennale as Calls for Boycott Intensify

Israel’s participation in the Venice Biennale is set to include artist Ruth Patir representing the country in the prestigious event. However, the petition’s signatories are calling for a boycott, urging for “no business as usual” until their demands are met.

Italian Culture Minister Gennaro Sangiuliano condemned the petition, labeling it as “unacceptable” and a threat to freedom of thought and expression.

Sangiuliano emphasized Israel’s right to showcase its art and culture, framing it as a form of bearing witness to the experiences of its people in the face of terrorism.

The organizers of the Venice Biennale have yet to respond to the controversy, leaving the fate of Israel’s participation in the event uncertain amidst the growing pressure from the art community and beyond.

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