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Police crash illegal Art Basel party

The Favela Café exhibit is an outdoor installation from Japanese artist Tadashi Kawamata Keystone

An Art Basel installation was the site of clashes between police and illegal partiers on Friday night after revellers launched an impromptu gathering at the outdoor “Favela Café” exhibit on Basel’s Messeplatz.

This content was published on June 15, 2013 - 16:43
swissinfo.ch and agencies

No one was arrested in the incident, although police responded with tear gas and rubber bullets when some in the crowd began throwing bottles, chairs and bags of paint after being asked to turn off their music.

About 100 people were involved in the clash, which took place at the site of Japanese artist Tadashi Kawamata's installation, titled “Favela Café”. For the exhibit, Kawamata and Basel-based architect Christophe Scheidegger built 18 small wooden huts on the Messeplatz that are meant to reflect the living conditions among the poor in Latin America. The huts also function as a working café, offering Art Basel visitors a place to drink a coffee in between viewing other exhibits.

Art Basel and the Favela Café were open to visitors as usual on Saturday morning following the police incident. The art fair, which is expected to attract hundreds of thousands of visitors over the course of four days, will continue through Sunday, June 16.

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