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Artist Uses 100,000 Books To Create Full-Size Parthenon At Nazi Book Burning Site

To protest political repression and remind the public of events which occurred during WWII, a 74-year-old artist created a full-size Greek Parthenon from 100,000 copies of books.

Credit: Roman März

To protest political repression and remind the public of events which occurred during WWII, 74-year-old Argentinian artist Marta Minujín created a full-size Greek Parthenon from 100,000 copies of books. Named The Parthenon of Books, the monumental replica is located in Kassel, Germany. According to MyModernMet, it is part of the Document 14 art festival.

Minujín worked with students from Kassel University to identify over 170 titles which were — or still are — banned in different countries around the world. The team then got to work constructing a full-size replica of the iconic temple from the books, plastic sheeting, and steel.

Most notable, perhaps, is the fact that The Parthenon of Books is located on a historic site where Nazis burnt 2,000+ books in 1933 as part of a very broad campaign of censorship. “Where they burn books, at the end they also burn people,”  said Heinrich Heine in the 19th century.

“In her mass-participation projects, Minujín rediscovers the initial value of a collective treasure; she melts shared capital back down into cultural currency without remainder. She lays down the verticality of public edifices that embody confiscated cultural knowledge and a hidebound heritage,” wrote curator Pierre Bal-Blanc. “She dilapidates the fortune these myths represent. By literally tilting these symbols, Minujín not only gives new meaning to these monuments, she offers them a new sensuality.”

May people be reminded that knowledge is power, and the ability to obtain information within moments a gift.

Following are images of the dynamic installation:

Credit: alexgorlin

Credit: si.leika

Credit: lctanner

Credit: rachelmijaresfick

Credit: jingyinc

Credit: voework

Credit: thegood.thebad.thebooks


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Comment (1)


    The novel and innovative form of protest is welcome and reflects the danger of suppressing dissent. Such protests are poignant and make people think of imminent dangers of repression

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