The 17 sculptures in American artist Jeff Koons’ current exhibit in the Château de Versailles, once the home of French Royalty, has stirred up quite a controversy. Right-wing protesters are insisting on artistic purity but the French Minister of Culture, Jean-Jacques Aillagon, defended Koons’ right to artistic expression and described the exhibition as “a great cultural event.”
Some of the sculptures, especially Jeff Koons’ signature balloon art, seem at odds with the gilded splendor of the palace. His work deliberately promotes a stark contrast between contemporary and classical art forms.
A collection of vacuum cleaners graces the Queen’s antechamber. There is even a suspended lobster. Others are rather tongue-in-cheek, including the rococo sculpture of Michael Jackson and Bubbles, as well as one of himself in white marble.
Château de Versailles was built by King Louis XIV who impoverished his nation and his people in order to build this grand palace.