Major German art exhibition opens amid anti-Semitism controversy | entertainment news

BERLIN (AP) — Germany’s president has called on the organizers of this year’s Document Fifteen art show to do more to combat accusations of anti-Semitism related to the event.

The exhibition, which takes place every five years in the German city of Kassel and is considered an important event in the international art calendar, is being curated this year by the Indonesian group Ruangrupa. The group was accused of inviting organizations from developing countries that support a boycott of Israel because of the country’s treatment of the Palestinians.

Speaking at the exhibition’s official opening Saturday, German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier said there are “limits” to what artists can do when they turn to political issues.

“While some criticism of Israeli policies, such as settlement building, may be justified, recognizing Israeli statehood means recognizing the dignity and security of the modern Jewish community,” he said.

“As President of Germany, I speak on behalf of my country: the recognition of Israel is the basis and condition for discussion here,” he added.

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Steinmeier said he hoped there would be proper debate between representatives from developing countries and Jewish communities in Germany and Israel ahead of the exhibition.

He urged the organizers of Documenta not to shift their responsibilities to Indonesian curators, but instead to take on the role of facilitators and “create appropriate structures” for the debate.

Many exhibits are devoted to the problems of colonialism from the point of view of the global South.

About 1 million people are expected to visit the Documenta Fifteen exhibition, which will run for 100 days.

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