A golden statue of Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was revealed this morning in the middle of Tel Aviv. Itay Zalait constructed the 15 foot tall statue above Rabin Square as a protest against the current Israeli government.
Rabin Square, which sits in front of the Tel Aviv City Hall building, is where Yitzhak Rabin was assassinated in 1995.
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Zalait told the Associated Press, “Many people in Israel refer to Benjamin Netanyahu as ‘The King Bibi’ so it was only natural to put the King on the square of the Kings, the previous name of Rabin Square. I just want to ask the question like to see if it’s going to make some change in the people’s mind.”
Artists in Israel have not been happy with how their government has been treating them. One object of their Ire is Israel’s Culture Minister Miri Regev who has worked to withhold funding from organizations which she says are in some way unpatriotic. Regev was not happy with the statue, of course, and posted the following criticism on her Facebook page.
— Anna Ahronheim (@AAhronheim) December 6, 2016
“How can an artist can be detached from reality! Israel is a democracy with individual privacy, Civil Rights, moral sensitivity, an activist court and a free press. In Short, one author states free… But one detached artist thinks that Israel’s only golden calf is the hated Netanyahu.”
The Golden Statue went up without authorization this morning and the Tel Aviv Municipality has since had it taken down.