Statue symbolizing former wartime sex slave to return to Japanese art show

This image shows a girl statue withdrawn from an exhibition of the Aichi Triennale 2019 in Nagoya. (Yonhap)

This image shows a girl statue withdrawn from an exhibition of the Aichi Triennale 2019 in Nagoya. (Yonhap)

Seoul: A South Korean sculpture symbolizing Japan’s sexual enslavement of Korean and Asian women will be put back on display Tuesday at a major Japanese art show in Nagoya after its controversial withdrawal from the show, organizers said.

The girl statue representing Korean women who were forced into sexual service for the imperial Japanese military during World War II and its umbrella exhibition, “After ‘Freedom of Expression?'” were withdrawn from the Aichi Triennale 2019 in Nagoya just days after the Japanese art show opened on Aug. 1.

The unilateral withdrawal, which the host of the triennale attributed to security reasons, triggered angry accusations of artistic censorship in South Korea and beyond.

As the controversy continued, the host of the triennale agreed late last month to bring back the exhibition including the girl statue, and Aichi Gov. Hideaki Omura announced Monday the exhibit will resume the following day and run till the triennale closes on Oct. 14.

The triennale on Tuesday announced the show’s exhibition schedule on its official website.

According to the schedule, “After ‘Freedom of Expression?'” will admit 30 visitors in each of two sessions — at 2:10 p.m. and 4:20 p.m.

The host will cast lots to distribute tickets if the number of visitors hoping to attend each session exceeds 30, the website said.

The collection to be brought back also includes a provocative video work showing a portrait of World War II-era Japanese Emperor Showa on fire.

The resumption was reportedly allowed on a set of conditions including a metal detector check on the exhibition’s visitors and controls on social media circulation of the show’s content.


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