Artwork removed after reactions
ISTANBULTurkish artist Ahmet Güneştekin’s artwork titled “Kostantiniyye,” which was previously displayed at the Venice Biennale and exhibited outside a shopping mall in Istanbul, has been removed after reactions from people demanded for its removal.
“Businessman Nihat Delibalta, who purchased my artwork, asked if they could place it in front of the A Plus shopping mall for everyone to see, since it symbolizes Istanbul. It was my 50th birthday on Dec. 22, so we made the opening of the work at 6 p.m. that day, but at 11 p.m., a group of angry people came to the mall, and said ‘how do you name it like this, this city has been called Istanbul since 1453.’ Reactions increased and they started threating to burn the mall. Then the Bakırköy Municipality covered the work with canvas at night,” Güneştekin told daily Hürriyet.
Kostantiniyye was the Ottomanized Roman name of Istanbul.
He said that as reactions continued mounting and with the request of the mall management, the five-ton artwork was removed on the night of Dec. 23.
“This work had been on display in Venice for seven months, visited by hundreds of thousands of people. But they could not tolerate it even for seven hours. I’ve had the darkest and worst time of my life,” he added.