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Anorak | Hanging Saddam Hussein, Patron Of Iraqi Culture And Modern Art

Hanging Saddam Hussein, Patron Of Iraqi Culture And Modern Art

by | 13th, May 2008

modern-art-iraq.jpgTHE GUARDIAN says that “Iraqi singers, actors and artists are fleeing the country after dozens have been killed by Islamic radicals determined to eradicate all culture associated with the West.”

No Rick-rolling in Baghdad, then.

According to the Iraqi Artists’ Association, at least 115 singers and 65 actors have been killed since the US-led invasion, as well as 60 painters. But the terror campaign has escalated in recent months as both Shia and Sunni extremists grow ever bolder in enforcing religious restrictions on the citizens of Iraq.

It all grim stuff. But somehow in this climate of fear and death the Guardian finds a painter called Haydar Labbeb who has received five death threats. He’s living in Jordan now.

Says he: “My art is seen by extremists as too modern and offensive to Islamic beliefs. For them, every painting has to be based on Islamic culture. But I am a modern artist.”

First they came for the modern artists, but we thought it was an installation and just watched.

Perhaps better had Mr Labbeb’s said the flickering light switch in his home was not art just faulty wiring, and his unmade bed no more than that.

The Guardian talks of missing persons, and we are tempted to glance at Mr Labbeb and wonder if he has been inspired by Damien Hirst.

But how different it once was. As the Guardian says: “Culture was encouraged during Saddam Hussein’s regime, but no longer.”

Saddam Hussein: patron of the arts. The featured picture was found in Saddam’s collection.

They hung him you know, but not in the Louvre…



Posted: 13th, May 2008 | In: Broadsheets Comments (2) | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed: RSS 2.0 | TrackBack | Permalink