Plans to show a 15-metre-high pitch black cube, which evokes the sacred Kaaba in Mecca, in Neuchâtel next year have been scrapped over a lack of funding.
There had been concerns in the city that the fabric-clad cube by German artist Gregor Schneider was too controversial.
The cube was due to feature in the Abstract Protest exhibition, organised by the Neuchâtel Art Centre (CAN), one of 40 projects chosen to mark the millennium celebrations in the city.
CAN said in a statement that some of the SFr400,000 ($411,000) needed to finance the project had been found. But “the debate around Gregor Schneider’s work made finding the funding more problematic than expected”.
The project faced stiff opposition in Neuchâtel. Earlier this year there was the sudden resignation by one of the leading members of the organising committee, who called it “out of context, disproportionate and a provocation”. A petition again the cube was also handed in.
The city authorities said that they regretted that Abstract Protest had been withdrawn, which had been selected for its “opportune and innovative” character.
The only time the public has viewed the cube was in the Hamburg Kunsthalle in 2007. Plans to install it in St Mark’s Square as part of the 2005 Venice Biennale were rejected by city officials over concerns it could offend or provoke Muslims. The same thing happened in Berlin in 2006.
swissinfo.ch and agencies