Artists protest Israel-sponsored Brazil arts fair

Screenshot from the website of Brazil’s 31st Art Biennial.

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil – Dozens of artists taking part in Sao Paulo’s 31st Art Biennial have lodged a protest against the event after it received sponsorship from Israel.

The biennial, which started in 1951 and is the second oldest art biennial in the world after Venice, dating back to 1895, is scheduled to open its doors next Saturday.

But it will do so amid controversy after more than 50 artists urged organizers to return around $40,000 funding from Israel, whose consulate in the city is one of the sponsors of the event, in protest at the recent conflict in Gaza.

An artist from Ramallah, Ruanne Abou-Rahme, due to exhibit at the show with fellow Palestinian Basel Abbas, was among some 60 signatories to an open letter to organizers, prompting Globo daily Saturday to dub the event the “Biennial of conflict”…

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