According to Olaf Scholz, no to documenta fifteen to come, the Lord Mayor of Kassel, Christian Geselle, wrote a letter to the Federal Chancellor (both SPD). The Mayor considers Scholz’ cancellation to be inappropriate, since the documenta “is placed under general suspicion,” the “Hessische/Niedersächsische Allgemeine” quoted a city hall spokesman as saying. Further details about the letter were not known on Friday, the contents are not public, said the spokesman for the German Press Agency.
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A visit by the Federal Chancellor is not an integral part of the documenta program. With a view to the anti-Semitism scandal at the documenta, Scholz had declared that he would not be visiting the world art exhibition. The subject of the scandal an artwork by the Indonesian artist collective Taring Padi, Scholz described a spokeswoman as “disgusting”. The work “People’s Justice” had caused a wave of outrage because of anti-Semitic imagery, and the banner was removed on Tuesday evening.
The city spokesman also stated that no board meeting is currently planned. At the meetings of the committee, which includes representatives of the shareholders City of Kassel and State of Hesse, possible structural or personnel changes are usually discussed. Most recently, there were calls for the resignation of the general director of documenta fifteen, Sabine Schormann, but she is sticking to her position.
The day before, Minister of State for Culture Claudia Roth (Greens) had called for consequences for the structure of the art exhibition and presented a corresponding plan. In essence, it is about the fact that the federal government wants more influence on the documenta. Those responsible would have to ensure promptly “that no further anti-Semitic works are exhibited at the documenta”.
In the future, responsibilities should be “clearly defined and agreed”. When asked how the city sees these plans, the spokesman said: “The city of Kassel is not aware of the plans.” (dpa)