THE chief of the Barcelona Museum of Contemporary Art (Macba), Bartomeu Marí, has resigned over a fiasco concerning work by Austrian artist Ines Doujak.
The controversial piece, titled La bestia y el soberano (The beast and the sovereign), depicts a man on his knees being straddled by an apparently indigenous Latin American woman, who simultaneously seems to be being sodomised by a beast. The floor is littered with combat helmets.
It is believed by some that the male figure represents former king of Spain Juan Carlos, though that has not been explicitly stated by the artist.
The exhibition was due to open last week, but the director, Mr Mari, deemed it “inappropriate,” leading him to take the unprecedented decision of cancelling the entire show last Wednesday.
However, after an extraordinary meeting including Barcelona’s deputy mayor for culture, Jaume Ciurana, museum governors and representatives from Barcelona City Hall, the regional government, the Culture Ministry and the Macba Foundation, the show finally opened with the controversial piece in place.
But in a final act of his tenure before his resignation, Marí also dismissed, with immediate effect, the two people responsible for the show – chief curator, Valentín Roma, and head of public programmes, Paul B Preciado.