PAMELA VALFER
Background:
Monument to Strangers and Refugees (2017) by Olu Oguibe
2017
The German town of Kassel, which hosts the international quinquennial documenta, still can’t figure out what do with Olu Oguibe’s award-winning contribution to the fair’s 14th edition. The Nigerian artist’s 54-foot obelisk Monument to Strangers and Refugees has stood in a town square since the local municipality launched a crowdfunding campaign to acquire the €600,000 ($693,000) work last January.

The artwork, which won the fair’s prestigious Arnold Bode Prize, has been heavily politicized since it was installed in the square. Local politicians from Germany’s right-wing anti-immigration AfD party (Alternative für Deutschland) have reportedly lobbied to have the obelisk removed, objecting to its gold inscription, which is taken from the Bible’s Matthew 25:35. The passage reads “I was a stranger and you took me in,” and is emblazoned on each side of the monument in German, English, Arabic, and Turkish. - https://news.artnet.com/art-world/kassel-documenta-obelisk-1362523

The city of Kassel, Germany, has dismantled Nigerian-born American artist Olu Oguibe’s Monument to Strangers and Refugees (2017), originally made for documenta 14. According to local newspaper reports, the sculpture – a 16-metre-high obelisk – was removed with two cranes in the early hours of Wednesday morning, and was later seen strapped to a flatbed truck and taken to a construction site on the outskirts of the city. - https://frieze.com/article/right-wing-protests-mount-kassel-removes-olu-oguibes-pro-refugee-obelisk



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