Do you find this sculpture sexy? Pornographic even? It appears in Damascus many do.
A sculpture of the ancient Mesopotamian goddess, Inanna-Ishtar, representative of love, beauty, sex, desire, fertility, war, justice, and political power, was taken down from a tree trunk after it caused massive outrage in Damascus.
فعالية "تحت سماء دمشق" الفنية نحتت لوحة الآلهة عشتار على شجرة في دمشق، مغص المشهد"البعض"ليُزال جسدها..— heba mahmoud (@heba_jm) November 9, 2019
أولئك الذين لم يروا سوى صورة إمرأة عارية لايعرفون تاريخنا ولم يقرأوا الميثولوجيا السورية التي كانت فيها عشتار امرأة جميلة متحررة طموحة ونزقة في إحدى يديها الحب وفي الأخرى الحرب! pic.twitter.com/xDNeBTLlQE
Translation: “A beautiful masterpiece that tells the story of an ancient goddess has offended some ignorant people enough to take it down. These people know nothing of the history of Syrian mythology, and don't see Ishtar as the beautiful, liberal and ambitious goddess who holds love in one hand, and war in the other.”
Students from the Faculty of Fine Arts carved a drawing of the goddess Ishtar on a tree in front of Damascus University and the National Museum.
Opinions on social media varied between those who appreciated the statue for its representation of love and civilization, and those who claimed that it is too sexually explicit to be displayed in public, arguing that it provokes “sexual feelings.”
Translation: “Here’s an explicit photo of the sexually explicit goddess for those who are looking to get turned on.”
Translation: “Forests in Australia and Africa are burning down. Meanwhile, we're busy covering up a sculpture on a mere tree.”
الفن ببلدي عم يتعرض لاضطهاد 💔— سوريون | Syrians (@SyrianOfficial) November 8, 2019
التي قامت بنحت مجسم #عشتار ريم الدهان تمت إزالة المنحوتة التي قمت بنحتها مع زميلي رضوان الباسط والإبقاء على رأس عشتار و التاج فقط
وخلال عملنا تعرّضنا لكثير من المضايقات والشتائم و الناس المارّة يقولون : "الله لايعطيكون العافية".#سوريون_كل_القصّة pic.twitter.com/gHXW0rXLuq
Translation: “Art in my country is being abolished. Here’s an artwork done by one of my colleagues of the Goddess Ishtar, that got taken down because of society’s ignorance.”
Translation: “Long live Ishtar, and may we someday overcome ignorance.”
Some of those opposed to the sculpture being displayed publicly argued that a naked figure, especially that of a woman, is not representative of Syrian.
Translation: "I am with the removal of the naked statue from our streets. Why? Because it doesn't represent me as a Syrian woman. Syria is filled with epic tales and historical methodologies, and they chose a naked woman to make into an art piece? Goddess or not, I don't want to see a naked woman in my street, it is offensive to our society."
Most of the outrage was in response to what many viewed as a symbol of immorality or blasphemy.
لا #عشتار و لا حياء قصة اخوان الشياطين— قلم ساخر (@SamhatMM) November 10, 2019
Translation: "No one has morals anymore, you all are just a bunch of devil worshipers."
Translation: "Damascus is an Islamic city, we do not tolerate such blasphemy."
Ishtar is known as the goddess of love, fertility and beauty in ancient times. It has been worshiped and remained popular even after the fall of the Assyrian Empire.
Ishtar was named in the Babylonian era as one of the most famous gates of the capital Babylon, Gate of Ishtar.
Inanna, the queen of heaven and the symbol of love, beauty, sex, desire, fertility, war, justice, and political power; shall be Syria's new symbol for civility and connection to the ancient roots of all Syrians to their region, the fertile crescent.#عشتار #سوريا pic.twitter.com/FcG33ddJ6w— #يسقط_حكم_المصرف (@CorneliusValdes) November 9, 2019
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