Cops deny seizing Biennale artwork

  • Nation
  • Friday, 24 Nov 2017

Under cover: The ‘Under Construction’ sign is covered in black netting at the National Visual Arts Gallery in Kuala Lumpur.

KUALA LUMPUR: Police have denied seizing any artwork from the Kuala Lumpur Biennale 2017 exhibition.

City police chief Comm Datuk Mazlan Lazim said a report by an online news portal that police had seized artwork from the exhibition was not true.

“There was no seizure. We merely advised the curator that some of the artwork were not very proper.

“It was the curator who took down the artwork and returned them to the artists,” he said yesterday.

The online portal claimed that a group of Malaysian and Indo-nesian artists withdrew from the exhibition after police visited the National Visual Arts Gallery on Wednesday and confiscated several artwork installed for the exhibition.

The portal quoted one of the artists that the artwork were taken down because of communism elements.

Comm Mazlan said police were investigating the matter.

Meanwhile, at the second floor of the gallery, the “Under Construction” installation – a collaboration between Malaysian collective Pusat Sekitar Seni and Indonesian group Population Project – was shrouded in black netting.

At the launch of Kuala Lumpur Biennale 2017 yesterday, National Art Gallery director-general Prof Datuk Mohamed Najib Ahmad Dawa neither confirmed nor denied the seizure, merely saying that “Under Construction” was still there and “we have accepted the artwork as it is”.

Tourism and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz, who officiated the launch, did not comment on the matter.

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