Apparently, the Israeli consulate in Sao Paolo donated $40,000 to the 31st Art Biennial- as sponsors- and over 50 artists are demanding that the money be returned.
The Consul-general Yoel Barnea said:The biennial, which started in 1951 and is the second oldest art biennial in the world after Venice, dating back to 1895, is scheduled to open its doors next Saturday.
An artist from Ramallah, Ruanne Abou-Rahme, due to exhibit at the show with fellow Palestinian Basel Abbas, was among some 60 signatories to an open letter to organizers, prompting Globo daily Saturday to dub the event the "Biennial of conflict."
Three Israeli artists are set to feature with around 70 participants in total at this year's event. The exhibition's website shows the Israeli consulate, which could not be reached for comment Saturday, as a sponsor.
"We are democratic -- there are different points of view in our country," said Barnea, adding he did not want to see culture and politics mix. He insisted the sponsorship would not be withdrawn and that he planned to attend the show.There was no word as to whether the artists would actually boycott.
Is it so hard to keep politics out of the arts and sports?