Saturday, November 24

An Iranian upset with a Moroccan in Mexico!

Sounds like a bloody globalisation joke to me! Read and wonder!

MEXICO CITY - Iran’s ambassador angrily demanded that a Moroccan artist withdraw from an art exhibit in Mexico a photograph he deems offensive to Islam, before it provokes a diplomatic crisis, exhibition organisers and media reports said.

The photograph of a vagina covered by a Mosque-like dome "is considered an offence to Islam" by Iran’s Ambassador to Mexico, Mohammad Hassan Ghadiri Abyaneh, and "he has addressed his protest to (the artist) Fouad Bellamine...asking him to withdraw it," an organiser of the Puebla Festival told AFP.

"The two had an argument and the ambassador left in a huff," said the source, who asked not to be identified.

The Proceso weekly said the ambassador has accused Bellamine of insulting Islam and has warned that "if the picture continues to be exhibited it could provoke a diplomatic crisis between the two countries."

The exhibition organiser said the matter was out of his hands, saying: "It’s up to Fouad Bellamine and Mexican authorities to decide what to do."

The 57-year-old artist, in a statement given to AFP in Rabat, said there was no profanity in his work. "Its very serious and unacceptable to turn my work into an act of provocation that demands to be censured under the threat of a culture war."

He added that he never intended any harm to Islam. "My work is open to all interpretations. The viewer is free to see in it whatever he wants."

Puebla state culture authorities told AFP that so far there has been no official demand from the Iranian Embassy to take down the photograph.

They organised the Mirages exhibition of contemporary art from the Middle East and North Africa to run from November 16 to February 3 at the San Pedro de Puebla museum.

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