A photo attached to a 2013 story entitled “Romania concerned about reputation as the number Romanian beggars on Swedish streets explode”
Two Roma beggars have been paid to take part in a controversial art installation that has seen them sitting and standing in silence with a paper cup in front of them in a Malmö art gallery.
The workers, who are a couple, appear dressed in thick clothes and are not allowed to talk to visitors of Malmö Konsthall, one of the city’s biggest art exhibition centres.
The pair, Luca Lacatus and Marcella Cheresi, were spotted begging on the streets of Malmö by the project’s organisers who say they decided to turn them into an exhibit designed to encourage Swedes to reflect on growing inequality in their country, which is set to experience record immigration in 2015.
But the project has whipped up a storm since it got underway earlier this week, with many critics accusing the gallery of “objectifying” poverty.
Ioana Cojocariu, an artist active in the group Solidarity with EU migrants told the newspaper Fria Tigningar:
“I had very high expectations, but when I entered the room, it felt like an ethnological exhibition, where black bodies had been replaced by poor bodies…I think artists are well-intentioned but there have been errors”…
Google Translate returns nothing for “Tigningar” but the Swedish word for “beggar” is “tiggare.”
If you import tens of thousands of people whose idea of life is begging, you will indeed be seeing some “growing inequality.”