It always insulting to have these things happen: insults, protests; I feel sorry for Barbara. Still, when damage is permanent, and costs thousands to repair, it's another story. Allan McCollum's five sculptures "Allegories" in Montpellier (cast in marble dust and pigmented polyester resin, sanded and polished) were vandalized and covered with oil-based silver paint by an art student in 2006, as an "art project." The statues were created in 2000, for the children of Montpellier. It will cost thousands to remove, as the polyester resin surfaces will be etched and damaged however the silver paint is removed, and the surfaces will need to be completely re-cast.
But what is most disgusting here is that the student's professor, Jeff Rian, at l'École nationale supérieure d'arts de Cergy-Pontoise (http://home.att.net/~artarchives/ensapc.fr/
), published a promotion of the vandaliasm as an act of "admiration" for the artist, and glamorizes the action in order to creat journalistic drama in Purple Fashion Magazine, and the magazine's public web blog. See:http://www.purple-diary.com/post/92236005/dear-allan-mccollum-a-very-interesting-art
The student (his name is Orion Giret) and Jeffrey Rian wrote the artist (McCollum) an insulting and sardonic letter, describing the vandalism as a "compliment" to his work, which improved it, claiming many people liked it "better" after the vandalism.
On top of that, when asked to comment, the well-known critic/philospopher Rene Denizot, who is the director of the school, claimed that the school has no responsibility, because the student did it on his own time, and professor Rian published his promotion on his own time; so it has nothing to do with the school!! Even weirder, the City of Montpellier, after discovering how costly the repairs would be, actually invented a story for the public that the artist (McCollum) said he didn't mind if the statues remained vandalized -- an absolute lie. So the statues have remained in their vandalized condition for well over three years.
Read these creepy articles in the French press:http://home.att.net/~artarchives/artdolly/denizot.htmlhttp://home.att.net/~artarchives/Montpellier-negligence1.htmlhttp://home.att.net/~artarchives/Montpellier-negligence2.html
What is it with the French academic world? Do they think everything is "conceptual," and they are "above" considering financial or legal ramifications of anything? This is my impression. McCollum mentions in his response to the blog that he has rwritten dozens of po=eople in the culture establishmnet of France -- and no response from any official operson anywhere -- just responses from journalists looking for stories.
I'm French myself, born there, and I'm ashamed and disgusted.