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Metropolitan Museum Of Art Refuses To Remove Suggestive Work Despite Complaints

By Izza Sofia, 11 Dec 2017


Image via Tupungato / Shutterstock.com

The Metropolitan Museum of Art has refused to remove a painting that an online petition claims “sexualizes” the image of a young girl.

The 1938 painting called ‘Thérèse Dreaming’ was made by artist Balthasar Klossowski, also known as Balthus. It shows a girl sitting in what seems to be a bedroom with her eyed closed and hands on her head. One of her legs is bent at the knee, with her foot resting on the chair. Her skirt has ridden up her thigh and exposed her underwear.

Mia Merrill, who started the petition says, “Balthus, had a noted infatuation with pubescent girls, and it can be strongly argued that this painting romanticizes the sexualization of a child.”

“‘Thérèse Dreaming’ is an evocative portrait of a prepubescent girl relaxing on a chair with her legs up and underwear exposed,” Merrill wrote inside the petition, which was posted on the Care2 website. “It is disturbing that the Met would proudly display such an image.”

Given the “current climate around sexual assault and allegations that become more public each day, in showcasing this work for the masses, the Met is romanticizing voyeurism and the objectification of children,” Merrill added. 

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The museum’s chief communications officer Ken Weine explained that the Met would not remove the work as “moments such as this provide an opportunity for conversation.”

“Visual art is one of the most significant means we have for reflecting on both the past and the present and encouraging the continuing and constant evolution of existing culture through informed discussion and respect for creative expression,” he added.

You can view the artwork in question here.





[via This Is Insider, opening image via Tupungato / Shutterstock.com]
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