Praying Hitler Statue Is Proving Controversial

    December 28, 2012

A praying Hitler statue was recently set up as an art exhibit in a Warsaw ghetto where many Jews were killed at the hands of the Nazis. As expected, the statue is drawing heavy criticism from the Jewish community.

The AP reports that Italian artist Maurizio Cattelan created the statue, simply titled “HIM,” as an expression of the nature of evil. As an art installation, part of the work’s appeal is that it’s only visible from a distance and its meaning is ambiguous.

That being said, organizers of the art installation have said that there is “no intention from the side of the artist or the center to insult Jewish memory.” Instead, they argue that the art installation is meant to make people think about where evil comes from and how it can hide in the most innocent of places.

The arguments for the work’s merit aren’t convincing some Jewish advocacy groups, however, as many see the statue as offensive. One group, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, told the AP that the statue was a “senseless provocation” and that it insulted the memory of those who were killed at the spot.

As for regular visitors and tourists, many praise the work for its ability to make them question the origin of evil. Having a visage of Hitler appearing innocent is intensely provocative, but many don’t feel it to be offensive.