Exhibits To Be Removed From Aichi Art Festival

Exhibits to be removed from Aichi art festival

The organizing committee of an ongoing international art festival in Aichi Prefecture, central Japan, says exhibits in a section themed "Deprivation of Freedom of Expression" will be removed because of threats.

The prefectural office, which is acting as a secretariat for the Aichi Triennale Arts Festival, has received critical opinions about the section, in which a statue of a girl symbolizing those referred to as wartime comfort women, was being displayed.

In a news conference on Saturday, Aichi Governor Hideaki Omura, who chairs the committee, said the safety of the festival has been put at risk due to the threats made by phone and e-mail, including ones that could be taken as terror threats.

According to Omura, a fax received on Friday said the sender would bring a can of gasoline to the venue if the statue was not removed.

He revealed that the committee is consulting with police.

Omura said the exhibit of the section will be suspended to allow people who were looking forward to the event to see it safely.

He said he also wants people to know that threats like those that they have been receiving should not happen.

The Aichi Triennale Arts Festival, which is one of the largest international art festivals in Japan, has been held every 3 years since 2010.

More than 90 artist groups from 30 countries and territories are taking part in the fourth event this year.