Hope of Opening Venice Mosque Again Grows Skip to content

Hope of Opening Venice Mosque Again Grows

Jóna Hlíf Halldórsdóttir, director of the Association of Icelandic Visual Artists, is calling on Christoph Büchel to sue the Venice city authorities for their decision to shut down the Icelandic pavilion at the Venice Biennale.

Christoph Büchel is the Icelandic entry this year with his piece The Mosque, where he changed an old disused church into a temporary mosque. The work proved very controversial and Venice city authorities had many reservations. The pavilion was eventually shut down by police last month.

The Association of Icelandic Visual Artists has criticized the decision and likens it to censorship.

“We believe it runs counter to artists’ freedom of expression and that it is heavy-handed censorship,” Jóna Hlíf Halldórsdóttir told Vísir.

The exhibition manager told Icelandic radio that they hope to open the pavilion again in the coming weeks.

Jóna says that the Icelandic authorities should get more involved in the case and strongly calls upon Christoph Büchel to seek legal advice and look into suing Venice city council.

“The closure has led to financial damage. And then there’s reputation, and this is also a human rights infringement. I think it is very important to get some justice,” Jóna says.

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