Toulouse | Controversy around an almost naked giant

(Toulouse) After Sweden, Germany and Italy, the “Salt Giant” of the Spanish sculptors Coderch and Malavia stopped in Toulouse, opposite the cathedral, where this dancer was thrown back, thighs apart and almost naked has raised complaints from residents.

This imposing traveling statue, more than two meters high for more than three long and 650 kg, was installed on November 18 on the Place Saint-Etienne.

But “two hours later, the town hall called us to tell us that it was not going”, declared to AFP Édouard Guiounet, collaborator of the Alain Daudet gallery, which exhibits works by Joan Coderch and Javier Malavia, including this sculpture.

Residents protested to the town hall, saying they were bothered by this statue in front of a religious site.

The place had been chosen by the gallery for its cachet and its proximity: “Saint-Étienne is a beautiful space, touristy and suitable for photos”, specifies Mr. Guiounet, adding that the gallery owners had “not imagined” that the giant could disturb local residents.

This statue, made of steel powder and polyester, inspired by a performance of buto, a Japanese dance, is a reproduction of another in bronze exhibited in Valence and around which “on August 6 a commemoration to the victims took place. the launch of the Hiroshima bomb, ”according to the gallery owner.

The town hall assured AFP that it was planned from the outset that the Giant would be transferred from Place Saint-Étienne to another site, the Esplanade François-Mitterrand, “a place of passage, neutral,” argues the elected head of the case, Jonnhy Dunal, explaining that the sculpture was installed in front of the cathedral, “as long as the esplanade is available.”

Coderch and Malavia’s agent Juan Rodrigo told AFP that the artists were “very happy with the opportunity offered by Toulouse City Hall to share a message of peace, although some people did not.” ‘did not understand’.

On the Place Saint-Etienne, a 57-year-old man, who requests anonymity, considers “the work interesting”, “more attractive than a Christmas tree” and deplores the displacement of the statue “which went well on the street. square “.

The “Salt Giant” will be present in Toulouse at least until the end of the year, in parallel with the exhibition of other sculptures by Spanish artists which is to be inaugurated Thursday evening at the Alain Daudet gallery.

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