Controversial Art Exhibition Likely To Reopen

Controversial art exhibition likely to reopen

Organizers of an international art festival in central Japan are planning to reopen a controversial exhibition about freedom of expression next week. Its cancellation sparked debate about the relationship between politics and art.

Aichi Triennale 2019 opened on August 1 in Aichi Prefecture. Three days later, one of the exhibitions was called off due to threats being made about some of the works on display, including a statue symbolizing those referred to as wartime comfort women.

The people involved in the exhibition filed an injunction at the Nagoya District Court to demand it be reopened by the festival's organizing committee.

Aichi Governor Hideaki Ohmura, who heads the committee, called for talks aimed at reopening it under certain conditions.

They include distributing numbered tickets to people who make reservations; maintaining the consistency of the exhibits before and after reopening; and providing education programs to explain the works, if necessary.

On Monday, the two sides reached a settlement on the matter at the court. The people behind the exhibition are said to have shown a willingness to accept the conditions.

The organizing committee wants to reopen the exhibition from October 6, or 8 at the latest.

Last week, the central government's Agency for Cultural Affairs decided not to provide subsidies to the festival. Officials said the organizing committee had failed to report possible safety risks when applying for financial assistance.