28 May 2012
Arts and Culture Minister Paul Mashatile, today the 28th of May 2012, met with Ms Lisa Esser from the Goodman Gallery.
The two hour meeting discussed public concerns relating to the controversial artwork by artist Brett Murray entitled The Spear at the Goodman Gallery.
During the discussions Ms Liza Esser indicated that, it was never her intention and that of the Goodman Gallery to harm the dignity of anyone, including the President, with the display of The Spear.
Ms Lisa said she regrets the pain that the display of The Spear has caused to President Zuma, his family as well as to the nation.
Last week the Spear was defaced and has since been removed from the Gallery.
Minister Mashatile and Ms Esser agreed that this whole matter involved the balancing of two competing constitutional rights, to human dignity and freedom of artistic expression, both of which have a crucial place in our democracy.
The meeting also reiterated the important role played by the arts as well as galleries in the process of nation building and promoting social cohesion.
Minister Mashatile committed to begin a process of national dialogue, wherein the role of the arts in the development of society will be debated.
“It is important that we continue to have on-going dialogue about the role of the arts in society,” said Mashatile.
Enquiries: Percy Mthimkhulu 082 389 2684
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