The Parthenon of Books, Art vs Censorship

It has been over two weeks since Documenta 14 officially started in Kassel, Germany. The people visiting the city for this 14th edition will have a chance to see a temple, similar to the Parthenon of Athens except that this one is made out of books!

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Volunteers helping for the construction of the Parthenon of books. Credits John Macdougall – AFP

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The artist behind the Parthenon of books Marta Minujin, famous in the south-american pop-art scene, wanted her creation to be a symbol of resistance against all forms of censorship; which is why only books that have been censored or banned at anytime throughout History have been used for its construction. Students from the University of Kassel helped the artist by picking 170 different books out of 70 000 (You can find the lists here)and asked for people to donate copies of the said books. Moreover, the location of the temple has not been chosen randomly since it is being built at the exact same spot where the nazis burned books of Marxists and Jewish authors in 1933.

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The artist refused to use any book encouraging racial or religious hatred such as Mein Kampft or others. Credits John Macdougall – AFP

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The Parthenon of books required the crazy amount of 100 000 books for its construction and is identical in size to the original one in Athens. Each book is put into a plastic bag in order to protect it from the weather. At the end of the event, the staff will be giving away all the books to whomever wants one. 

– Update – If you want to know more about the books that were used for the Parthenon of books we invite you to visit Documenta 14’s website where you will find the list of banned books.

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Credits – DPA

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3 thoughts on “The Parthenon of Books, Art vs Censorship”

  1. A very original and creative project! It would be wonderful to have a list of all the books included in it, since this would ultimately be a very trustable list of censored books along the History! An analysis of such a list could bring interesting insights on how prejudice has tried to ban or kill values and beliefs in all times.

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