Artist Koons meets French minister over sculpture dispute

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Artist Koons meets French minister over sculpture dispute
Artist Koons meets French minister over sculpture dispute

PARIS (AP) – American artist Jeff Koons met with the French culture minister Tuesday amid a debate over a monumental sculpture he plans to offer Paris as a memorial to victims of the 2015 terror attacks.

Two dozen people from the worlds of French art and entertainment signed an open letter this month urging the city to refuse Koons’ “Bouquet of Tulips,” calling the project “shocking” and its creator too commercially driven.

Koons donated the design in 2016, but not the cost to produce or install the sculpture. It is expected to weigh 36 metric tons (39.6-tons) and stand nearly 12-meters (39.3-feet) high.

The project’s direct and associated costs reportedly run to several million euros, some of which private sponsors are expected to pay.

The sculpture is intended for a museum hill with a view of the Eiffel tower.

FILE – In this Nov. 21 2016 file photo, American artist Jeff Koons poses next to the illustrations of his work names “Bouquet of Tulips” during an event at the American embassy in Paris. Several figures in the French art world signed an open letter earlier this month urging the city to reject the “Bouquet of Tulips” sculpture, calling it inappropriate and calling Koons too commercially driven. (AP Photo/Michel Euler, File)
French Culture Minister Francoise Nyssen, left, and U.S. artist Jeff Koons pose before a meeting about a massive sculpture he plans to make as a memorial to the 130 victims of the 2015 Islamic extremists attacks on Paris cafes, the national stadium and the Bataclan concert hall, in Paris, Tuesday, Jan. 30, 2018. Several figures in the French art world signed an open letter earlier this month urging the city to reject the “Bouquet of Tulips” sculpture, calling it inappropriate and calling Koons too commercially driven. (AP Photo/Christophe Ena)
French Culture Minister Francoise Nyssen, left, and U.S. artist Jeff Koons speak before a meeting about a massive sculpture he plans to make as a memorial to the 130 victims of the 2015 Islamic extremists attacks on Paris cafes, the national stadium and the Bataclan concert hall, in Paris, Tuesday, Jan. 30, 2018. Several figures in the French art world signed an open letter earlier this month urging the city to reject the “Bouquet of Tulips” sculpture, calling it inappropriate and calling Koons too commercially driven. (AP Photo/Christophe Ena)
French Culture Minister Francoise Nyssen, left, and U.S. artist Jeff Koons speak before a meeting about a massive sculpture he plans to make as a memorial to the 130 victims of the 2015 Islamic extremists attacks on Paris cafes, the national stadium and the Bataclan concert hall, in Paris, Tuesday, Jan. 30, 2018. Several figures in the French art world signed an open letter earlier this month urging the city to reject the “Bouquet of Tulips” sculpture, calling it inappropriate and calling Koons too commercially driven. (AP Photo/Christophe Ena)
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