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Sex Slave Statue Removed from Japanese Expo Finds New Home

2019/08/18 | 203 views | Permalink | Source

A statue of a girl is displayed at an art exhibition in Aichi Prefecture, Japan on Aug. 4. /Yonhap

A statue of a Korean woman forced into sexual slavery by imperial Japan in World War II, which was removed from the Aichi Triennale art exhibition in Japan last week, has been bought by a media business owner in Spain.

Reuters reported Wednesday that Tatxo Benet, founder of soccer rights company Imagina (Mediapro), bought the statue and plans to exhibit it at a galley he plans to open in Barcelona early next year.

He tweeted a message saying that the statue that was evicted from Japan "has found a new home".

The statue depicts a young woman in traditional Korean dress sitting on one of two wooden chairs and symbolizes the victims of the Japanese army's wartime sexual enslavement of young girls. 

The statue had been on exhibition at the Aichi Triennale but was removed under pressure from Japanese government officials and because the organizers received terror threats.

Benet said he heard about the incident and asked around how to buy the statue. The purchase price was not revealed.

Benet has collected since last year about 60 artworks that were banned for political or religious reasons and plans to exhibit them at his new gallery to be named "Freedom Art Museum".

Japanese broadcaster NHK reported Thursday that 12 out of 90 artists taking part at the Aichi Triennale called for their works to be removed in solidarity against censorship. They included two from Korea and 10 from Europe and Latin America.

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