Citizens, artists and opposition politicians in Poland are sharing photos of themselves eating bananas in protest of an art gallery after its decision to remove a piece of art that featured the fruit.
The Associated Press reported Monday that the National Museum in Warsaw, a state-run museum, removed the work of art last week after its head, Jerzy Miziolek, was summoned to the country’s Ministry of Culture.
Miziolek told the news outlet, Onet.pl portal, that he was against “showing works that could irritate sensitive young people,” AP noted. He reportedly added that some visitors had complained about the artwork.
The controversy involved the 1973 video “Consumer Art,” which features a young woman eating a banana. The piece by prominent artist Natalia LL was featured in the museum for several years.
Miziolek announced Monday that the piece would be reinstated until May 6, the date at which the entire art gallery is to be reorganized. The museum head denied capitulating to pressure from the nation’s ministry when discussing the decision.
Miziolek, who was appointed to his post by the right-wing government in November, said that “creative changes” at the gallery were the result of its limited space.
The move led to many Polish citizens posting photos of themselves with bananas along with the hashtag #bananaselfie, BBC noted. The AP added that several Twitter and Facebook users called the art piece’s removal an example of censorship.
Actress Magdalena Cielecka posted a photo on Instagram of her pointing a banana at her head like a gun. Others demonstrated outside the National Museum in Warsaw by collectively eating bananas.
At protest against art censorship outside National Museum in Warsaw, people eat bananas, after an artwork showing a woman eating a banana was removed from the museum. The air smells of bananas. pic.twitter.com/jM9gYBuQIa
— Annabelle Chapman (@AB_Chapman) April 29, 2019
“An artist, to create, must be free,” Cielecka told the AP, adding that the picture she posted was meant to protest ideological or political limits placed on artists.