Right-wing protesters disrupt unveiling of Syrian artist’s installation in Dresden

Three wrecked buses turned vertically in front of Dresden’s Frauenkirche, an installation intended as a “Monument” to the people of Aleppo by the Syrian-German artist Manaf Halbouni, drew protests from supporters of right-wing populist movements at its opening yesterday (7 February). 

“Monument” refers to a photograph taken in Aleppo in 2015, showing buses turned on their heads and fastened together with wire to barricade a street and protect the residents from the fighting. It is designed to reflect the suffering and loss of war but also hopes for peace and reconstruction, symbolised by the Frauenkirche, which was destroyed in the Second World War and rebuilt after German reunification.

The choice of location has angered some in Dresden, which is home to the right-wing anti-immigration movement Pegida. Dresden commemorates the 72nd anniversary of its own destruction on 13 February when the sculpture will still be in place.

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Chris Alexakisart